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 user 2004-01-24 at 10:04:00 am Views: 85
  • #4811

    Xerox Grants Paid Leaves to Nine Employees to Serve Social Causes in Their Communities

    Reaching out to battered women. Mentoring troubled children. Developing resources for caregivers of the elderly. Helping people with AIDS. Instead of going to their ordinary jobs each day, nine Xerox Corporation employees in 2004 will devote themselves to these and other causes during 3- to 12-month sabbaticals, while continuing to receive their full salaries.

    The leaves of absence are part of The Xerox Foundation’s long-standing Social Service Leave initiative, which has granted sabbaticals of up to one year to 453 employees since the program began in 1971. One of few corporate sabbatical programs that provide paid opportunities for employees to volunteer in their communities, Xerox’s Social Service Leave program is believed to be the oldest of its kind in American business.

    Under Social Service Leave, the nine Xerox people will work full-time for nine nonprofit agencies, including the American Cancer Society and American Red Cross, in four states and the District of Columbia to accomplish projects of the employees’ design and choosing. All nine people have a long history of volunteer commitment, including one employee who received a Social Service Leave earlier in her career.

    “These employees have a special opportunity to make an impact in the communities where they live and work, and we deeply respect and value their personal dedication to these worthy causes. It’s an inspiration to all of us,” said Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer. “Social Service Leave embodies Xerox’s commitment to corporate citizenship and our belief that companies have a moral obligation to give back to and invest in their communities.”

    Xerox estimates that through the collective efforts of Social Service Leave participants, it has donated nearly a half-million volunteer hours over the past 32 years.

    Social Service Leave was conceived by former Xerox president Archie McCardell in 1970. He and another Xerox executive were on a flight from California, where they had made a donation to a university on behalf of Xerox. A conversation about how “easy” it was to give money turned into a discussion about what kind of philanthropic gesture would represent a genuine sacrifice for Xerox. They concluded that the company’s most valuable asset was its employees, and that offering employees’ time would demonstrate a true philanthropic commitment by the company.

    Then-CEO C. Peter McColough said in a letter to employees announcing the program in 1971: “Each year we contribute several million dollars to worthwhile institutions and projects. Yet we don’t think that’s enough … so we decided to offer what we can least afford to give – the full-time service of Xerox people.”

    The 2004 Xerox Social Service Leave participants are: Yasmen Brown-Jones, sales training manager, Albany, Ga.: 4 months with Southwest Georgia Council on Aging to help the agency host a conference for caregivers, support educational projects and develop a resource directory.

    Joanne Belknap, DocuColor iGen3 manufacturing operator, Rochester, N.Y.: 4 months with the American Cancer Society to coordinate the Wayne County chapter’s “Annual Relay for Life,” the American Cancer Society’s largest national fund-raiser.

    Donald Buffum Jr., financial analyst, Rochester, N.Y.: 6 months with Families and Friends of Murdered Children and Victims of Violence Inc. to focus on financial support for the organization, including developing a statistical database to help in fund raising and establishing a long-term plan.

    Robert Coleman, systems design and development engineer, Altadena, Calif.: 9 months with Five Acres, an education center for abused and at-risk children, to work with faculty and students to provide technology and tools to enhance the agency’s one-on-one educational approach.

    Jason Green, account associate, Phoenix, Ariz.: 6 months with AIDS Project Arizona to help educate people about HIV prevention as well as encourage AIDS testing and help those who test positive to live longer, healthier lives.

    Steven Mueller, sales manager, Brewster, N.Y.: 12 months with Green Chimneys Children’s Services, an education center for at-risk and special-needs children, to tutor and mentor children and help the agency raise funds.

    Evelyn Reveron Hill, sales executive, Washington, D.C.: 12 months with My Sister’s Place, which aids battered women and their children, to help the agency conduct outreach and education in Latino communities as well as to help raise funds from major donors.

    Leslie Levy, e-marketing manager, Rochester, N.Y.: 6 months with the American Red Cross Greater Rochester Chapter to manage the review of the chapter’s disaster plan and revise it to meet new requirements.

    Gail Thompson, supplies marketing representative, Irvington, N.Y.: 3 months with Abbott House, an agency that provides programs for abused, homeless and special-needs children, to implement an art and writing program that seeks to strengthen the children’s values, sense of self, and skills. Thompson was also selected for Social Service Leave in 1996.

    In addition to the Social Service Leave participants, thousands of other Xerox employees volunteer in their communities each year by joining their local Xerox Community Involvement Program, teaching science in elementary schools through the Xerox Science Consultants Program, and supporting the United Way. Together, Xerox employees and The Xerox Foundation contribute about $4.5 million annually to the organization.

    Corporate philanthropy is a fundamental component of Xerox’s corporate responsibility and citizenship efforts, which include environmental and health programs, minority- and women-owned supplier programs, diversity and employee support, and business ethics and corporate governance initiatives.