The NetSuite.org SuiteImpact Teams give our employees all over the world the opportunity to help out in their local communities in unique ways. Through hands-on volunteering, donation drives and fundraisers, our employees are making a difference 365 days a year. This program provides us with an opportunity to connect with each other around a common experience, even if we’re halfway across the world. As the administrator of this and our other employee engagement programs, I’m always blown away by the compassion, time and passion put into each of these projects. This summer, many teams have been getting out of the office and giving back. In San Mateo, employees headed to a local beach for a restoration project with state park rangers, and in Manila employees teamed up to help brighten the day of some local youth. You can see images from these and many other employee service activities on our Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/groups/suiteimpactteams/
In June, the SuiteImpact Team San Mateo partnered with the California State Parks Association to help out at the beautiful Half Moon Bay State Park, located just 10 miles away from our Headquarters. Nearly 100 employees spent the day involved in a restoration of the dunes and native habitat around the park. A local park ranger kicked off the event, explaining how the park was officially designated in 1955, but before that, the coastal development and agricultural practices had greatly impacted and changed the natural landscape. For years, volunteers and restoration specialists have been working together to restore the habitat to its original splendor, while protecting and preserving the coastal scrub for the native wildlife who call it home.
Once the team had an overview of the importance of the work they were about to take on, it was time to roll-up their sleeves, flex those keyboard fingers and dig into the restoration. Armed with weed whackers, shovels and trowels the employees broke into 4 teams and headed out into the dunes to remove non-native plants like mustard, hemlock and thistles, which grow shoulder high along the dunes. After a few hours, the fields were transformed, gone were the thickets yellow and white weeds, the teams had left behind the native plants and given them a new environment in which they could thrive. The rangers proclaimed a job well done, and encouraged the employees to come back out in the future to help with this on-going work.
In July, the SuiteImpact Team Manila teamed up with child-caring institution Virlanie Foundation to “give back the smile” on abandoned, abused and exploited children’s faces. Even for just a day, NetSuite employee volunteers were able to make an impact on the lives of these children by showing them that they are not alone. The activity, which also served as an eye-opener for the volunteers, included a simple birthday celebration for some of the children.
The main highlight of the day-long activity was the sharing of meals between the children and NetSuite employees. A select group of volunteers were designated to cook lunch for their respective houses. Short programs were also held, including parlor games, storytelling and intermission numbers that allowed both volunteers and children to interact with each other in a fun and light way.
NetSuite VP for Worldwide Support and General Manager for the Philippines James Dantow also attended the event, saying “It always gives me great joy to see NetSuite being represented in inspirational volunteer programs. Within office walls, our employees work hard to help companies run better, but volunteering at Virlanie Foundation gave them the unique opportunity to contribute for the betterment of these children. I am proud of what we have achieved here and I am looking forward to more philanthropic activities like this in the future.”