Cisco’s Be the Bridge Campaign Empowers Employees to Change the World

Cisco’s Be the Bridge Campaign Empowers Employees to Change the World

by Austin Belisle

300 Employees in North Carolina participated in a 5K run to raise awareness about Be the Bridge

Eric and I were just two of 300 volunteers who packaged more than 50,000 meals as part of Cisco’s Be the Bridge campaign

Cisco volunteers in India were inspired to “Be the Bridge” after working with students from a local government school and learning more about today’s global social issues

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.@CiscoCSR’s #BetheBridge Campaign Empowers #Employees to Change the World #WeAreCisco
Monday, November 23, 2015 - 9:35am

Originally published on Cisco Blog > Corporate Social Responsibility November 5, 2015

For the past 15 years, Cisco’s helped raise more than $40 million and deliver nearly 160 million meals as part of its global hunger relief efforts. We’ve changed millions of lives, and now, we’re expanding our impact beyond the global hunger crisis. Every day, a lack of shelter, access to clean water, and malnutrition cripple underserved communities. Things we take for granted, like the roof over our heads or a simple bottle of water, are a luxury to millions of underserved people around the world. Fortunately, you and I can make a difference, starting today.

As part of Cisco’s new Be the Bridge campaign, employees can support social issues that are important to them or their communities. The campaign, which launched earlier this week, empowers employees to “Be the Bridge” for those in need by providing direct aid to people with uncertain access to life’s necessities. Between now and December 11, Cisco will match employee donations of US$50 or more to over 400 eligible non-profit organizations in 15 different regions around the world.

To kick off the campaign, Cisco campuses in San Jose, India, Texas, and North Carolina hosted volunteer events, where hundreds of employees came together in a collective effort to “Be the Bridge” and create social change.

Last Thursday, hundreds of Cisco employees, friends, and family members gathered at Cisco’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) campus in North Carolina to participate in a 5K Fun Run and support the launch of Be the Bridge.  Not only were participants proud to run for a worthy cause, but they had a great time enjoying the beautiful autumn day and spending time out of the office with team members. Through their gifts, over 300 employees in RTP have already raised more than US$50,000 together to support the most vulnerable in our communities.  The campus is focusing on 11 local non-profit partners as beneficiaries, including the Triangle Red Cross and Triangle Family Services.

In San Jose, 310 volunteers participated in a StopHungerNow food sort on Monday, creating 50,000 meals to be sent to hungry children in more than 27 countries around the world this year. Employees from 12 different functional teams worked together to package rice, soy, and vitamins into small plastic bags for distribution, and their volunteer hours generated more than US$4,600 in matching funds to StopHungerNow. Today, employees at the Cisco campus in Richardson, Texas will participate in another food sort.

At the Cisco campus in Bangalore, India, volunteers participated in a number of events this week and found the inspiration to give back to those less fortunate. On Monday, Cisco hosted the CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a nonprofit partner that focuses on eliminating hunger and making primary education available for all. Students and from Concern India Foundation, a Akshaya Patra beneficiary, visited the campus later in the week and worked with employees to create Diwali decorations. Today, more than 95 volunteers painted earthen lamps as a thank you gift to the India’s government schools, which are helping to feed hungry students every day.

Cisco hopes to inspire thousands of employees worldwide to support their cause of choice, and together, raise more than US$5 million in donations and matching funds through the Be the Bridge campaign. You have the power to make a difference, either by giving to global organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or volunteering at a local homeless shelter in your community.

Spread the word by using social media to let the world know how you are “being the bridge.” Share your stories by using the #BeTheBridge and #WeAreCisco hashtags and inspire others by posting to the CiscoCSR Facebook page.

If you’re a Cisco employee and want to donate or volunteer, visit Cisco CSR and learn how you can start making a difference locally or globally today.