Volunteering in a Virtual World
By Leanne Blanchette
While extremely challenging, this past year has proven to be one of the most rewarding times to work in community engagement at Alexion. In the face of the devastating COVID-19 crisis, we were able to uphold our commitment to local communities by pivoting to new ways of supporting them. Alexion expanded its annual volunteerism event from a single day to a full week and went 100% virtual, with great success. The desire of our employees to live our values was as strong as ever despite the circumstances of 2020.
The success of our employee volunteerism efforts is linked to the introduction of our online volunteer engagement tool in early 2020. Our volunteer portal, Community Connect, acts as a central hub for all our volunteer initiatives and enables my colleagues to quickly search and register for volunteer activities around the world.
We want to make it easy and meaningful for all our employees to give their time. My colleagues sure answered the call in this most challenging of years. In addition to our formal Global Week of Service activities, we provided a variety of other virtual volunteer opportunities such as:
- Working through the Red Cross and 7 Cups to support people who have been impacted by a natural disaster, COVID-19 or other crises.
- Providing skills-based and general volunteering services for math tutoring, translations, and connecting with isolated senior citizens.
- Assisting with academic research through the Zooniverse citizen scientist platform.
- Sharing advice with students interested in pursuing careers in finance and STEM through information sessions, like a webinar hosted by the Citizen Schools.
A global pandemic is not the time to step back from volunteering or engaging with our communities. Quite the opposite – it’s so much more important.
Leanne Blanchette, Sr. Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility
This is an excerpt from Alexion’s 2020 CSR Report. To read more, please visit csr.alexion.com