Corporations located in Austin care about Austin. That is why the Mayor’s Office convenes the Corporate Engagement Council, to foster conversations on how we can better serve Austin as a community. The Corporate Engagement Council is a public-private association that discusses corporate giving, shares and develops best practices in the industry, and engages businesses in important conversations the City is having.
Most recently, the Corporate Engagement Council coordinated their back to school giving efforts to ensure schools, students, and teachers all across the City were prepared for the school year.
Here are a few examples of the great work these companies are doing:
For Silicon Labs’ 20th anniversary, the company partnered with teachers at Martin Middle School to prepare for back to school. Silicon Labs chose to work with Martin Middle School because of the students’ immense need: 95% of the students are economically disadvantaged and 75% are considered at-risk. On August 18th, over 50 Silicon Labs employees, including the CEO, helped teachers move furniture, set up classrooms, organize library books, decorate bulletin boards and prepare for the new school year.
“We know many teachers have to use their own money to purchase school supplies and they spend a lot of time getting ready for the school year, so we wanted to do our part to help out. Many of our employees approached me after their volunteer shift to say how happy they were to be able to help out and ask when they could go back again. It was a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.” – Jackie Padgett, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
Intel also adopted a middle school in their fourth teacher supply drive to support the teachers at Austin Achieve charter school. More than 200 employees participated in the Intel-sponsored back to school teacher drive, collecting over 35 bins of school supplies and at least 85% of the items on teachers’ “wish lists.”
“Intel is proud to partner closely with local schools to make a difference in the lives of students. One of Intel’s core values is to be an asset to the communities in which we invest – nothing exemplifies this better than supporting the mission of education.” – Grace Davis, Director of Global Public Affairs, Intel Corporation
Rather than teacher supplies, Samsung Austin Semi-Conductor (SAS) focused on supplies for students at Blake Manor Elementary School. In their 6th annual school supply drive, SAS employees set a new donation record with 30,040 school supplies donated. SAS hosts a number of events with its Austin team that embrace one of their core values of “Family: caring beyond the product.”
While Silicon Labs, Intel and Samsung chose to support traditional schools, NXP hosted a back to school supply drive to benefit the teachers and adult students at the Goodwill of Central Texas Excel Center. The Excel Center is the first high quality, free, charter school in Texas for adults. Its mission is to provide adults in Texas the opportunity and support to earn a high school diploma and post-secondary education while developing career paths, professional development and greater opportunities for employment.
Instead of connecting its employees to support schools, the Entrepreneurs Foundation created a list of back to school initiatives, including activities Corporate Engagement Council members planned to participate in, and connected their members with various back to school opportunities throughout the community.
Here are some ways that companies gave back this season with guidance from the Entrepreneurs Foundation:
- The Bazaarvoice Foundation kicked off another vertical in the AISD Student Inc program (Crockett High and now Eastside Memorial and the feeder schools in their vertical).
- Bazaarvoice employees, for the fourth year in a row, donated backpacks to Breakthrough Austin. In the coming weeks, a large team of BV employees will be working at Travis High School to complete a school garden renovation and planting for the school.
- Blackbaud participated in Austin Angels’ Back to School Drive and donated school supplies to the cause and their company volunteers assisted with the shopping spree at Target for over 100 foster children.
- Charity Charge team members helped build a children’s playground on September 10th at Bridge Community Church with KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that has built, opened or improved over 16,300 playgrounds nationwide.
- Cloudera team members donated more than 100 supply kits to Communities In Schools to benefit Becker Elementary.
- Innography rallied 86 of its employees who participated in a back to school supply drive for Winn Elementary. These team members filled 10 large buckets full of pencils, paper, notebooks, glue, tissues, rulers, binders, folders and crayons. The Innography team also donated $500.00 worth of gift cards specifically for their teachers.
- SpareFoot team members broadened their outreach during their onsite Back to School Drive to benefit many organizations that serve youth of all ages (and pets!): 36 school backpacks to Foundation Communities; 30 diaper bags to SAFE; 40 cat beds and 120 cat toys to the Austin Animal Shelter; 75 hygiene kits and 60 rice bags to Caritas of Austin; and 60 hospital activity bags to Dell Children’s Hospital.
These efforts, along with so many others in the community leading up to back to school, help to provide our teachers and students with the tools for a successful school year. The Corporate Engagement Council’s shared efforts were just a piece of the greater network of Austin philanthropy this time of year.
The Corporate Engagement Council meets monthly to discuss their community efforts and how to be engaged corporate citizens of Austin. Topics of conversation range from coordinated efforts during major times of giving, like back to school, to how to best engage employees in volunteer efforts, to briefings on projects happening in the City. For more information on the Corporate Engagement Council, contact our office.