Ed. Note: This is the first of three personal views of our annual holiday volunteerism event, Project Inspire, where employees and their families help transform an undeserved school, park or neighborhood center. This year’s event for our Santa Clara office takes place Saturday, Dec. 11.
My kids love Project Inspire. My wife loves Project Inspire. I love Project Inspire. The date is saved on our calendars well in advance every year. We sign up early. We arrive early and we leave after dark. Why do we do this? The reason is simple. We enjoy being part of a big group effort that is so transformative! Of course, we are exhausted and usually very sore at the end of the day, but it is all worth it knowing that we helped, even in a small way, improve some people’s lives.
I am always impressed when groups of people voluntarily join together to help out others. The human energy is immense and the outcome is usually surprising. Homes get built. Schools get transformed. The hungry get fed. The result for all involved is that lives get changed.
Imagine if the human energy put into all company holiday parties were directed at community changing events. Tuxedos get traded for tool belts. Gowns get traded for paint smocks. Actually … imagine the day after. It’s not a day with feelings of hangovers and embarrassment remembering, “I did WHAT?!” It’s a day about a feeling of immense accomplishment and remembering, “We did THAT!”