As dozens of Micro Focus employees take time out to volunteer at their local foodbanks to support our charity partner Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month, Cassandra Schelldorf, Internal Communications Leader, CyberRes and North America INSPIRE Ambassador, shares why volunteering is important to her and how she’s helping to make positive impacts.
Volunteering has always been part of who I am. The fact that Micro Focus prioritizes volunteering and giving back – all employees receive four days a year to volunteer – means the world to me, and it’s something I actively looked at when I was considering my next role and company.
Fast-forward several years, and today – alongside my role of leading internal communications for the global CyberRes team – I volunteer to manage Micro Focus’ corporate partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The partnership forms part of Micro Focus INSPIRE, our company’s global environmental, social and governance program. Feeding America is one of several charity partners we support through our company-wide campaign, Inspire a Million Lives, launched earlier this year to help communities around the world impacted by COVID-19, support people in need, and help eliminate digital exclusion.
Feeding America: Hunger Action Month
Since the launch of Inspire a Million Lives, the Micro Focus North America team has supported Feeding America through a series of volunteering events – helping to provide over 1.4 million meals to people in need. During September, we planned several volunteering initiatives at local Feeding America foodbanks, further raising awareness of the charity’s Hunger Action Month while continuing to provide meaningful volunteering support.
Supporting Our Local Feeding America Foodbanks
In Atlanta, a group of Micro Focus employees recently volunteered at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and processed 7,000 pounds of food – which translates to over 6,000 meals. Colleagues also got together in Seattle during September to volunteer to support their local Feeding America foodbanks.
Earlier this month, I joined the CyberRes team to volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to pack food bags and boxes. It was my first time volunteering with GBFB, and I was surprised to learn that they feed 600,000 people a month. After three hours of packing boxes, loading pallets, and breaking down boxes, we were rewarded with the knowledge that through our work for the day, we packed 11,880 pounds of food and made 9,900 meals possible.
Why Volunteering Matters to Me
My parents instilled the importance of volunteering and giving back at an early age. My mother was a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, and my father volunteered with our local fire department. I was also a Girl Scout, and spent many weekends volunteering at the local retirement home. In college, I volunteered all four years as part of the leadership team for Dance Marathon at the University of Florida, a fundraiser for Shands Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network. Back then, the event was hosted over the course of 36 hours – now it’s 24 hours. Last year’s event raised $2.2million for the charities. Just writing about it gets me teary-eyed. It’s incredible. Ask any dancer or captain and they’ll tell you the same thing.
In my 20s, I volunteered in my city as a way to get connected. It was a personal achievement to be the third-highest overall fundraiser for Single Greatest Night, a five-month fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that organizes volunteers into groups to compete for fundraising dollars as a group and as a solo participant. Another volunteering memory was when I had a yard sale that raised $2,000 for charity – the event attracted two news crews, and even the police because the event was blocking traffic! Back then I was also heavily involved with IMPACTJax, Children’s Miracle Network, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
I know how fortunate I am, and have been – and I think it’s my duty to give back and support those in need. I am grateful to work for a company that gives me the time to help make positive impacts and do good for my community.