2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Oracle Volunteering, the global program that supports employees to design and implement meaningful volunteering projects in collaboration with nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and public institutions like schools.
Over the course of three decades, Oracle Volunteers have donated hundreds of thousands of hours of their time and talent to advancing education, protecting the environment, and strengthening communities, whether it’s teaching kids to code, cleaning beaches, or collecting food and gifts for those in need.
To celebrate, Oracle held a 24-hour “follow the sun” event, starting in Asia, and moving across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America to wrap up the day in North America. The schedule included fun, engaging, and inspiring sessions like executive kickoffs, virtual volunteering activities, Oracle Volunteering-themed trivia, an escape room, and so much more. In total, more than 2,000 employees from around the globe turned out to join our virtual celebration.
Leading up to the event, Oracle Volunteers like Adriana Stoica from Romania shared what volunteering means to them.
“Volunteering makes me happy,” said Adriana. “By giving our time to others, we get to help, and we end up feeling magical.”
Garrett Ilg, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific region, shared how volunteering is important to the employees who participate, the organizations they help, and the people and places that ultimately benefit. He also noted that Oracle customers increasingly want to know what Oracle is doing in the area of corporate citizenship.
During the Asia Pacific section of the agenda, Oracle Volunteers in Australia and New Zealand took attendees on a virtual road trip from Melbourne to Auckland, highlighting fun facts about those cities and successful volunteering projects along the way.
A session in Indonesia invited participants to share their career journey with youth who had dropped out of school and are now hard at work trying to complete their diplomas. Later in India, participants shared inspiring leadership advice with differently-abled individuals supported by Maya Care Foundation.
Cormac Watters, Executive Vice President of Applications, kicked off the Europe, Middle East, and Africa block of sessions sharing his own experience volunteering as a Boy Scout cleaning up his local village and later as an assistant coach of a kids’ football team.
Next, participants learned how UK-based Prince’s Trust and Romania-based All Grow are getting youth into jobs through education and training. In addition to learning how these organizations are positively impacting young people, participants learned how Oracle Volunteers are providing support, from cycling in the annual Palace to Palace bike ride for the Prince’s Trust to sharing their career journeys with students in All Grow’s programs. Later that day, in Africa, participants learned how NGOs WeCyclers of Nigeria, WEEE Centre of Kenya, and UpCycle of South Africa, are protecting the planet by safely disposing of and recycling e-waste and turning plastics into park benches, prostheses, and art supplies.
In Latin America, Bill Drayton, the father of social entrepreneurship and founder of Ashoka, along with Tara Chklovski, founder of the global Technovation competition for girls, talked about the transformational impact of their programs and how Oracle Volunteers have played a part. Technovation participants also reflected on their experiences during the celebration.
“Technovation was one of the greatest milestones in my life. I started the competition thinking that it was just another Hackathon and ended up with a totally different mindset than I had before: it changed my relationship with technology, I started to believe in my power to transform the community I live in, and I discovered thousands of career possibilities,” said Agnes Helena, former Technovation participant (2018) and current Oracle intern in Brazil.
On Oracle's work in the community, Luiz Meisler, Executive Vice President of Latin America said, "we have a duty and an obligation to improve the lives of people who have had fewer opportunities. These efforts are dedicated to sharing the most precious thing we have, which is our time, our talents, and ourselves."
Liz Snyder, Vice President, Human Resources & Philanthropy, and Colleen Cassity, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship & Executive Director, Oracle Education Foundation, kicked off the North America session by thanking participants for their commitment to making the world better through volunteering. Following their opening remarks, Colleen moderated a panel with Oracle leaders who shared how they’re using volunteering to help build organizational culture.
“The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure & Cloud Platform organization is committed to building a global community with equity, inclusion, and respect for all,” said panelist Brad Willoughby, Human Resources Director of OCI Employee Experience. “Volunteering is a great way to live OCI and CP values, build meaningful relationships with colleagues, and demonstrate a commitment to the greater good.”
As a thank you for participating, participants had the chance to win US$100 to donate to their favorite nonprofit or NGO for every session they attended. A total of US$20,000 will make its way to these nonprofits and NGOs in July.
“Since our 30th anniversary celebration spans all of 2021, we’ll be honoring our amazing Oracle Volunteers in a variety of ways, and we look forward to seeing their impact grow over the next 30 years,” said Colleen Cassity.
Cheers to the future of volunteering!
To learn more about the Oracle Volunteering program, visit https://www.oracle.com/corporate/citizenship/volunteering/.