The holiday season invites us to give of ourselves and to share our good fortune, not only with our nearest and dearest, but also with our community, and especially with those whose spirits may need lifting.
Focus on Community, formerly Season of Sharing, is the annual Oracle Volunteering initiative that encourages us to strengthen our communities by supporting individuals and families in need. As 2018 drew to a close, Oracle employees around the world stepped up to do just that – they collaborated with nonprofits to do projects that warmed hearts, fulfilled wishes, and gave strength and hope.
Oracle Volunteers executed more than 400 projects--from donating groceries, toys, and clothing and serving meals to organizing holiday parties for hospitalized children and executing massive gift packing operations. They gave generously of their time, their resources, and themselves.
Here are some highlights from around the world:
In Bangalore, Oracle Volunteers organized an art camp and picnic for children with disabilities, collected and delivered supplies to seniors in a nursing home, and planned a holiday party for children with cancer. In Pune, Mumbai, and Bangalore, Oracle Volunteers organized and participated in blood drives.
In Beijing, Oracle Volunteers took homeless youth to visit the China Science and Technology Museum, helped children engage with exhibits, and shared their knowledge and passion for science and technology. Oracle Volunteers also organized a project to clean up trash around Purple Mountain.
In Tokyo, Oracle Volunteers packed and sorted food with Second Harvest Japan, prepared meals for students in the Learning for All program, and laced up their sneakers to participate in the 10K Race for the Cure, raising awareness of breast cancer.
In Manila, Oracle Volunteers spent a day at Chosen Children, a home for kids with physical and developmental disabilities. Volunteers organized games, told stories, and performed a magic show to entertain children.
In Kuala Lumpur, Oracle Volunteers tutored children in reading English as part of HOPE Malaysia’s reading program, supported a coding class that taught students HTML, and sorted and distributed food to those in need.
In Barcelona, Oracle Volunteers took part in “El Gran Recapte”, a large-scale initiative to collect and distribute food to people in need. In Madrid, Oracle Volunteers provided career advice to students from Junior Achievement Spain and tended to a community garden with Asociacion Albala.
In Dublin, Oracle Volunteers decorated Riverbanks Homeless Center, which provides meals and supportive services to homeless individuals and those emerging from addiction, and created a new library for Community Afterschools Project (CASPr), a resource center providing a safe place for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In Bucharest, Oracle Volunteers made holiday decorations alongside children with nonprofit SinVi, spent time reading stories and singing carols to seniors with Never Alone, and provided a warm meal to homeless individuals with Asociatia Sansa Ta.
In Great Britain, Oracle Volunteers supported KidsOut by collecting and donating gifts to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, spent the day beautifying the grounds at Prior’s Court, a school for children with autism, and helped Sebastian’s Action Trust with the grand opening of their second home for critically-ill children.
In Johannesburg, Oracle Volunteers taught life skills to 50 students during a wilderness hike and picnic lunch with Christel House School, which aims to transform the lives of children from impoverished backgrounds through education, nutrition, and social skills.
In Sao Paulo, Oracle Volunteers continued their support of PROA, by purchasing and gifting new clothing that young people receiving job skills training can wear to their job interview. Oracle Volunteers also hosted students from Gerando Falcões at our office for a tour and a day-long mentoring session.
In Buenos Aires, Oracle Volunteers fulfilled the wishes of students from Fundación Integrar, a nonprofit that supports youth in vulnerable situations to pursue higher education. Oracle Volunteers also dedicated a morning to making crafts alongside young adults from Taller Wilde, a nonprofit that provides job skills training for people with mental disabilities.
In Mexico City, Oracle Volunteers ran multiple collection drives, gathering sweaters, blankets, and baby clothes for Unidos por la Montana, toys for Dignifica Tu Vida, and dog and cat food for Omeyocan. To close out Focus on Community, teams of volunteers delivered all they had collected.
In Guadalajara, Oracle Volunteers added a fresh coat of paint to La Casa Down, a home that serves individuals with Down Syndrome, and collected and donated winter clothes for children living in an orphanage, bedspreads for a Maria Auxiliadora nursing home, and holiday treats and piñatas to Nariz Roja, which helps children with cancer.
In Santiago, Oracle Volunteers collected toys and clothes for the more than 40 children at Fundación Grada, then delivered the gifts, along with homemade snacks, and spent an afternoon playing games with the kids.
In San Jose, Oracle Volunteers collected clothes, Christmas decorations, toys, appliances, and cookies to support Lifting Hands, a nonprofit dedicated to providing educational classes to kids from vulnerable backgrounds.
In Toronto, Oracle Volunteers collected items and packed 120 shoeboxes for The Shoebox Project, a nonprofit that provides gift boxes to women who are at-risk of homelessness. In Vancouver, Oracle Volunteers helped the Greater Vancouver Food Bank sort food to get it ready for distribution to community agencies.
In Redwood Shores, San Mateo, Pleasanton, Santa Clara, and San Jose, Oracle Volunteers fulfilled the wishes of nearly 800 children and seniors by purchasing, donating, and delivering gifts to Family Giving Tree. Teams of Oracle Volunteers also logged hours in Family Giving Tree’s massive warehouse, sorting and wrapping gifts for distribution.
In Austin, Oracle Volunteers supported the Boys & Girls Clubs’ holiday party for club members, setting up for the event, decorating cookies, and playing games; They also sorted and distributed food at Central Texas Food Bank’s mobile food pantry in East Austin.
In Santa Monica, Oracle Volunteers participated in Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica’s Holiday Heroes event, in which volunteers shopped alongside youth who had received a gift card. They also delivered meals to homebound seniors with Meals on Wheels.
In Auburn and Chicago, Oracle Volunteers honored our fallen military heroes by participating in Wreaths Across America ceremonies.
In San Diego, Burlington, Redwood Shores, Morrisville, and Hillsboro, Oracle Volunteers collected hundreds of pounds of food that local food banks distributed to families over the holidays.