Xilinx Issued the Challenge: Community Service Around the Globe
By Patty Nation, Global Community Relations Manager, Xilinx
Imagine the difference that can be made when employees around the world take up the challenge of doing good in the community while having fun. This is the challenge that was placed by Victor Peng, Senior Vice President of Programmable Platforms Development, to have each of his reporting organizations host a community giving activity along with an employee event. That challenge was met and then some! Below you will read about Akshay Patra in India, Barretstown in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), The CITY (Character In The Young) in Singapore, and RoadRunner Foodbank, EHC LifeBuilders and Boulder Shelter for the homeless in North America.
Albuquerque, Boulder, San Jose
Can you say PEAS! After a fun and casual pizza lunch the Albuquerque team embraced a project many of us would wrinkle our noses at, but not this fearless crew. When the nearly 25 volunteers arrived at the RoadRunner Food Bank they thought they would be sorting canned and boxed food, but just then a shipment of frozen peas arrived. Time was a determining factor in order to get the peas out to the community before they would spoil. These volunteers got decked out in the latest attire for food handling and went to work. In less than an hour they bagged, weighed, sealed, labeled and boxed almost 300 bags of frozen peas. Now that’s Xilinx Spirit in action!
Not to be outdone, the Longmont Community Relations team along with the leadership of Dan Gibbons organized a truly remarkable event in the Retreat Center. A delicious BBQ lunch set the tone and nourished the volunteers for their community service project. This crew assembled nearly 1500 laundry kits consisting of soaps and dryer sheets, made over 200 sack lunches and wrote inspirational notes to be inserted in the 500 hospitality kits that were made that included a pair of socks, a t-shirt and a pair of underpants.
The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless was extremely grateful for the generosity of the donated items and the hours of service. Once the project was completed at Xilinx several volunteers delivered the items and took a tour of the Boulder facility. Truly a memorable experience!
In San Jose nearly 375 employees gathered at Saratoga Springs for a BBQ and opportunity to help EHC LifeBuilders. Employees donated socks and undershirts and helped to assemble 500 hospitality kits, and then they made 500 fleece scarves and 50 lap blankets. All of these items went to help build the much needed inventory to support the cold weather shelter for the winter. Additionally, nearly 1,000 socks and t-shirts were contributed in addition to those that built the kits. These additional supplies will help to build the next series of kits. Employees also took the time to write notes of inspiration that were inserted into each kit. San Jose, you truly made an impact for those in need.
As part of the global team building events Xilinx Hyderabad sponsored a mid-day meal to 37,000 children of ~230 Government Schools.
More than 50 Xilinx volunteers supported this community project including site manager, Vamsi Boppana and many other senior leaders. The group of volunteers visited one of the four nearby schools where each of the teams served food, interacted with the kids and joined them to have lunch together. The organization that the Hyderabad team partnered with for this service project is Akshaya Patra. This was not the first collaborative event with Akshaya Patra and Xilinx but actually the third in the past year. Perhaps you will recall that Akshaya Patra was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award last year at the Tech Awards. Xilinx is proud to be able to support such a worthwhile organization as they reach out to the community to help the local youth. Stay tuned for more programs between Akshaya Patra and other Hyderabad community partners in the coming year.
The Singapore team made time recently to visit four local primary schools in an effort to foster interest in science and engineering among disadvantaged students. In coordination with The CITY (Character In The Young) community services group, the Xilinx team visited the Befrienders’ Club at each school. The students who participate in the club typically do not have an adult to go home to after school. The club provides a fun, friendly environment for children to learn good values and gain exposure to positive role models. The Xilinx Team found this the perfect opportunity to foster interest in science and engineering.
The team prepared four activities and assisted the children as they:
- Experimented with a basic closed loop circuit using a hand-made switch and a light bulb.
- Created different densities of liquid using sugar, water and paint, to make a rainbow in a glass.
- Built a simple electric motor using batteries, magnets and wires.
- Watched a test tube sink or float in a bottle, like a submarine.
Student efforts were rewarded with special goody bags sponsored by Xilinx Community Relations. Each of the 300 bags distributed contained an assortment of stationary, water bottles and snacks. By far the most appreciated gift by the students was the dictionaries included in each bag. Said one CITY volunteer, “Providing the kids with some of the little things that most people take for granted is wonderful but for the Xilinx team to take time out of their busy schedules and spend a few hours interacting with kids in need of adult attention, that’s the true benefit to the students. And who knows, the next star engineer at Xilinx could come from one of the students impacted by the visit.”
A team of employees in Ireland took some time from their busy schedules to volunteer at the Barretstown Camp, situated close to the Xilinx Ireland facilities in Dublin. Barretstown Camp is a facility designed to support children with life threatening illnesses and their families through a wide range of therapeutic programs and activities. It allows these sick children to become children again, to forget about their illnesses, and experience the wonderment and excitement of the camp. The Xilinx employees braved the Irish weather and participated in a number of the team activities usually experienced by the children; from problem solving games to attempting to change the laws of physics by balancing on a giant see-saw. The teams then got involved in painting a number of the family cottages and the Camp theatre.
The team was met by Dr. Fin Breatnach, the CEO of Barretstown, who described the importance of the camp for rebuilding the confidence and self esteem of these sick children. Patty Nation presented a cheque for €1,822 to Dr. Breathach to support the Barretstown camp; the proceeds of a raffle that was held in the Xilinx Ireland facilities. The volunteers were very positive about their experience at Barretstown and were extremely impressed by the work done at the camp. The following comment from one participant sums up the experience for all:-
“The atmosphere was really good within the group, and I think we all got to switch off from our daily lives for a while. Needless to say, the place was an excellent choice: the beautiful scenery was the first thing I saw, but then when we learnt more about the place and the great work these people do, it made me think a lot, put my problems (or what I thought were problems) into perspective and gave me the chance to be thankful for all I have.”
It is hoped that other teams from Xilinx will volunteer at the Camp and help to fundraise for such a worthy cause.