Closed doors. Strong drinks. Awkward conversations. Maybe it’s time to re-invent the annual company holiday party.
NVIDIA’s done just that, again, inviting friends, family and community members to muddy their boots, dig irrigation ditches, paint murals and build everything from a farm stand to an outdoor teaching kitchen. Boredom is not an option.
Veggielution –- an urban farm based in a low-income neighborhood of San Jose, California — grows and sells fruits and vegetables in a community where good nutrition is a critical issue.
Proceeds from the sale of the non-profit’s fresh produce helps educate families about how health, the environment, and education intersect.
Hard work for a good cause is a holiday tradition at NVIDIA, and it’s the high-point of an innovative 11-month-long planning process.
The employee-led NVIDIA Foundation selects a project to tackle every year guided by employee surveys that show health, education, and the environment are areas where employees most want to make a difference.
We then bring friends, family, and community members in on the conspiracy. More than a good cause, the event is something of a family reunion, with long-time employees bringing their spouses, partners, parents, and children.
Project Inspire has also become a chance to get to know the neighbors, with more than 200 community members picking up hammers and shovels to join our annual effort.
Volunteers from City Year, a national youth-leadership organization that has been assisting us with Project Inspire since 2009, helped lead the effort.
Working together, we’ve made a measurable difference. With nearly $500,000 invested in donated material and labor, Project Inspire has transformed the community farm.
Volunteers built an outdoor community gathering space, a packing shed and farm stand for sorting and selling produce, an irrigation system that will turn the non-profit’s new acreage into productive land and a colorful mural.
The non-profit’s leaders say these projects will help Veggielution more than double its output of vegetables to 75,000 pounds a year from 30,000 pounds over the next year alone.