Our Global Impact Teams
By: Allie Ottoboni, eBay News Team
A glimpse into how our employees give back.
Last week, we told you about 22 Pop Culture Icons who have raised millions of dollars for charity on eBay as part of our charity story series. This week, we’re focusing on the amazing ways in which our employees give back through Global Impact Teams.
Located in 20 eBay offices worldwide, these teams are making a positive impact on the planet and in communities all around the world - and having quite a lot of fun along the way.
Global Impact Teams (formerly known as GIVE and Green teams) plan group volunteer outings, host onsite volunteer events, support fundraising events, determine which local nonprofit organizations their office should support with grants, and take steps to make their communities more sustainable. Since 2008, the teams have allocated over $6.4 million to nonprofit organizations globally.
New York bridges the gap between under-served youth and tech
In New York City, only a handful of high schools are able to provide the technical expertise necessary to develop students into technologists; less than 1 percent of under-resourced public schools even offer Advanced Placement courses in Computer Science.
To address this need, the New York Global Impact Team focuses their volunteer efforts on tech youth mentorship programs and, in the words of co-leader Paul Wang, the team is “committed to growing and encouraging the next generation of leaders in tech.” The team regularly host iMentor orientations at their office to build mentoring relationships that empower students to graduate high school, succeed in college and achieve their ambitions.
Employees also organized and participated in an all-day programming hackathon called Tiger Hacks to encourage high school students to build a mobile app that is both creative and useful. The team allocated their full grants budget of $10,000USD to ScriptEd, which is committed to expanding access to New York’s tech economy, and volunteered at ScriptEd’s hackathon earlier this month which encouraged young people to build mobile apps.
Austin volunteers onsite and off
Last month, all 425 employees in Austin donated and assembled 800 meal kits for low-income students at nearby Webb Middle School, demonstrating that you can make a big impact without having to leave the office.
A smaller group of employee volunteers delivered the kits – thanks to a U-haul rental – and even helped clean up the middle school’s gardens. Dustin Moore said that “although the campus was in great shape before we arrived, it feels good to know it was in even better condition after the eBay team left. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for those less fortunate. To be able to give them one less thing they have to stress about in those times makes me feel appreciative for what I have.”
Toronto rallies around Movember to raise funds for men’s health
When temperatures dropped in Toronto this November, members of the newly-formed Global Impact Team fought back with an extra layer – mustaches! All in support of Movember, a global campaign to raise awareness of and funds for men’s health issues, members of the team ignored their razors for a month and embraced some facial fuzz.
Jon Vasallo, who leads the team, also organized an in-office quiz which employee Jenna Hoffman described as “Probably the most fun I have ever had in my life.” – now that’s a quiz we want to take! Further fundraising support from nearly all employees within the office yielded an impressive total of $3,073USD for Movember.
Australia’s ongoing commitment to Ronald McDonald House
For the past 5 years, eBay and Gumtree employees in Australia have maintained a very strong connection to Ronald McDonald House in Randwick to support families staying at the House as a result of their children having serious illnesses and needing ongoing hospital care. Each month, employee Sarah Horton designs a menu, shops for the ingredients and coordinates employees who volunteer to cook meals for families.
To further support the organization, the team allocated their full $10,000USD grant budget to Adopt-A-Room at Ronald McDonald House, Randwick. Australia Global Impact Team leader Jo Cohen noted that the team made the grant in an effort to do “anything they can to help these families going through what is, in most cases, the most challenging period of their lives.”
Prague employees roll up their sleeves – and hit the road – for the environment
When the Prague Global Impact Team learned about Pristav 18600, a project among local residents aiming to reinvigorate a former harbor area and railway station near the office, they felt compelled to jump into action. The entire Prague office volunteered to cut grass, clear weeds, dig and lay water pipeline as an initial effort to reinvigorate the unused area into an open air café, park, playground and venue for cultural events.
eBay was the first company to volunteer for this project. Their green efforts didn’t end there – for the third year in a row, the team organized a Bike to Work day event to promote cycling as a healthy and ecological way to commute. Two eBay cycling teams regularly came to work on bikes and covered well over 200 miles throughout the month of May.