Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
January 14, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every aspect of our daily lives and countless individuals and families around the world have—and continue to—suffer because of it. On January 18, we will honor the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, remembering those who fight for equality and dedicate themselves to making the world a better place. Given the events of 2020 through today, the National Day of Service reminds us that it’s more important than ever to give back and lift up our communities.
If your organization is celebrating the National Day of Service, we encourage your employees to share their efforts on the Biden Administration Inaugural Committee’s website. If you’re hosting an event, you can share it here. Whether it’s knitting blankets or contactless food drives, dedicating one or two hours of socially-distanced or virtual service will go a long way.
The private sector has long stepped up to bring positive change and act as a force for good. Many companies lead year-round volunteer programs that engage their employees to improve the communities in which they serve. Here are some examples of how companies are giving back on this National Day of Service and every day.
Making a Difference on MLK Day
This year, Raytheon Technologies is serving as the presenting sponsor of The Mission Continues’ 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, a series of in-person and virtual volunteering events across the U.S. It is a part of the Presidential Inaugural National Day of Service, an effort by the incoming administration to unite and inspire citizens to work in support of their communities. The Day of Service events are sponsored through Raytheon Technologies’ new partnership with The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that provides military veterans with a way to continue serving their country through community improvement projects.
Verizon is honoring Dr. King’s life of service and dream for a more equitable future by inviting its employees to volunteer on issues ranging from digital inclusion and climate protection to food insecurity and African American history. Activities include writing a letter to Feeding America volunteers that are working to end hunger, sharing expertise on ed-tech nonprofit UPchieve’s blog to help low-income students achieve their academic goals, and recording sky observations for scientists to help ground-truth NASA satellite images.
Engaging Employees Year-Round for Community Impact
Qualcomm’s employee and community engagement efforts extend around the world. The company organizes “giving committees” that determine how the organization’s funds are distributed throughout local communities. Qualcomm’s giving committees are located in more than 25 countries and have donated to more than 70 local organizations. In addition to volunteering opportunities, the company offers matching grants, community service grants, and other community outreach efforts. For example, in honor of National STEM Day in November 2020, Qualcomm hosted a month-long technology donation drive in partnership with Computer 2 Kids.
Through Pfizer’s Give Forward initiative, the company offers its employees a variety of ways to support causes most important to them. In response to social and economic challenges so many people are facing, the company provides employees with the opportunity to volunteer their time, money (through a matching gifts program), or expertise. With each hour volunteered, Pfizer offers “rewards” that employees can donate to an eligible nonprofit of their choice. Additionally, Pfizer encourages employees to participate in skills-based volunteering, sharing their expertise either in-person or virtually, with nonprofits that help support underserved communities around the world.
For a list of virtual volunteer opportunities on MLK Day of Service, check out resources here.