on 06-24-201308:30 AM - last edited on 10-29-201309:44 AM by bcm3
Brocade takes pride in offering a volunteer-time-off program to make a difference in the community – employees like the benefit; non-profit organizations and K-12 schools like the outcomes. And, transparently, the Company values the business impacts realized when groups volunteer together as a team-building exercise.
Recently, two business groups from the Company's San Jose headquarters volunteered at RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching), an organization with a unique approach to inspiring, engaging and educating children. Executive director, Mary Simon emphasizes that “volunteers are critical to the success of our mission. Through their generous donations of time and energy, RAFT is able to provide affordable hands-on activities to educators and students.” So far this year, more than 100 Brocadians volunteered nearly 300 hours at RAFT.
Volunteers sort donated goods that are repurposed and repackaged as ‘hands-on kits’ that stimulate learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The kits tie directly to academic standards. From film containers and foam buttons that make ‘fizzy rockets’ to straws, rubber-bands and clear lids that make ‘roller racers’, groups of volunteers cut, count, sort, bag, label and box hundreds of kits each hour. Jason Nolet, vice president, data center switching and routing said, "It’s incredible to see the way RAFT can turn discarded and donated items from local companies into inexpensive science projects for students. These kits have lasting effects that inspire kids – our future workforce – to enjoy math and science. I like that!"
The teams enjoy the physical activity and appreciate the time with co-workers. Group volunteer projects are fun, rewarding, and an effective way to build healthy team dynamics that lead to improved departmental effectiveness. "Volunteering together gets our teams mixing and collaborating in unique ways that they simply are not able to do in a traditional work setting. New relationships are forged and team dynamics are enriched." says director, global recruitment, Robyn Longfellow.