Volunteer Week is EVERY Week at HP

This week is National Volunteer Week in the United States, but at our HP offices around the world, every week is volunteer week.

As HP founder Dave Packard said in 1947, “The betterment of society is not a job to be left to a few. It's a responsibility to be shared by all.” Nearly 70 years later, this ethos continues through HP Living Progress, our vision of creating a better future for everyone through our actions and innovations. One way we bring our vision to life is through the support of our employees who give back their money and time in the communities in which they live and work. Last year alone, more than 40,000 employees in 82 countries logged more than 1.6 million volunteer hours.

This incredible effort was supported by HP’s Volunteer Policy, which provides all HP employees with four hours per month to conduct volunteer activities during company time.

Each year HP holds a Global Volunteer Challenge which encourages HP countries, business units and individual employees to take the lead and get involved in their communities. The goal? To see who can engage the most employees and generate the greatest social impact.

There are also a number of HP programs that encourage employees to donate their technical skills and business savvy. The HP ScopeAthon pairs seasoned HP project managers with nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs, helping them address issues and help change the world.

The HP Advisors program helps social entrepreneurs, who have proven their ability to drive social transformation but need access to professional business skills, to reach their goals.

Here’s a look at a few of our favorite projects from the past year:

In Chicago, Illinois, 60 HP volunteers took part in the building of a new playground at a local elementary school. HP partnered with SAP Americas, KaBoom! and the local school district to provide the school children and local community with a safer place to play. Employees assembled playground equipment, mixed cement, built picnic tables, created an outdoor classroom, painted asphalt, and shoveled two semi-trailers full of mulch onto the playground. The project was completed in one day.

HP Management Associate Program employees created a career development strategy to develop internal talent, increase retention, and enhance organizational effectiveness at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

You can see videos of HP volunteer projects around the world by visiting the HP Community Involvement YouTube playlist.

HP’s leadership in community engagement has been recognized with numerous awards. HP received a silver level U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award for our employees’ contributions of more than 10,000 volunteer hours to the Social Innovation Relay programs with Junior Achievement. We were also awarded the 2013 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence by Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteerism – and were named one of the “Most Community-Minded Companies in America” by the Civic 50.

But we don’t volunteer for the accolades. Ask any HP employee, and they’ll tell you that volunteering makes us feel closer to our communities, brings us together as a team and helps us feel more engaged in the company. The combined power of our employees’ volunteer efforts can and is changing the world.

What are your plans for National Volunteer week? Let us know in the comments below.