Cisco’s RTP Employees Give Big to Local Charities

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Cisco’s RTP Employees Give Big to Local Charities

by Ed Paradise, Cisco RTP Site Executive and Vice President of Engineering

Ed Paradise, VP of engineering, presenting collective check to RTP Campus local nonprofit partners

Cisco Volunteers wrapping holiday gifts for families of Interact of Wake County

Cisco Volunteers building birdhouses for new home-owners of Habitat Humanity

Simone Hamlett, HR Program Manager and Civic Council Lead for InterAct shares a touching story with the audience on the impact of InterAct of Wake County’s work in the community for victims of domestic violence.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 12:45pm

Cisco is a great company to work for – with an even bigger heart. It is a privilege to work alongside great people who give of their time, talent, and treasure to make the world, and its local communities, a better place.

I have had the pleasure of serving as Site Executive in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, representing the wonderful employees who have contributed to Cisco’s annual employee giving campaign, Be the Bridge. Building off of our legacy Global Hunger Relief Campaign, our new Be the Bridge campaign provided employees greater choice to support one of 400+ non-profit organizations around the world focused on shelter, water access, nutrition and emergency care, in addition to hunger.

My local colleagues came through in a big way – over 870 donors raised $220,000 to a wide variety of organizations. And that’s before the Cisco Foundation matching funds! Special thanks to Rebecca Jacoby, SVP, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Leadership RTP Site Sponsor, who further incentivized our donors with an additional $10K match.

At our Culmination Event last week, seven grateful partners came to the RTP campus and were shocked and awed by the generosity of my fellow colleagues. Together with the matching funds, we were pleased to present checks totaling over $305,000 to our local non-profit partners, including: American Red CrossHabitat of Humanity of Durham, Wake and Orange Counties, Interact, The Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, and Triangle Family Services.

The day began with a Volunteer Power Hour for employees to come together for some fun and comradery, all for great causes. Employees wrapped children’s holiday gifts for survivors of domestic violence, assembled, painted, and decorated housewarming gifts (birdhouses) for new Habitat home-owners; wrote holiday greeting cards to be sent to U.S. troops overseas; and sorted through 6,000 pounds of food to be distributed to the hungry citizens of our community this holiday season.

Following the Volunteer Power Hour, we had a brief program recognizing the impactful work of our seven local nonprofits in the community. The room was flooded with warmth, love and kindness as employees shared their personal involvement with our partners and powerful stories of organizational impact. Simone Hamlett shared, “I am the bridge to survivors of domestic violence. I am humbled by the labor of love that the InterAct staff performs on a daily basis and the courage of victims that seek the organization’s help.”

I am fortunate to work with such generous employees. Here’s what Travis Bullard had to say about Be the Bridge: “I feel extremely fortunate to work for a company that places such value on supporting the local community! Thank you for giving me a platform to contribute to the community.”Well Travis, thank you!  I couldn’t agree more.

And Brad Giles adds: “We all need to be kind and contribute to those less fortunate. Nothing works better than setting a good example. We are privileged to be working for a company that commits itself to helping others as much as Cisco does.” Travis and Brad are only two of over 870 donors who made it possible for seven of our local partners, and the clients they serve, to have a very happy holiday.

Thank you for being the bridge! Have a wonderful holiday season.

Keywords: Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives | Be the Bridge | Cisco Foundation | Positive Change | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Social Change | Social Impact & Volunteering | cisco csr | csr | employee giving