GE Volunteers is a global network that includes GE employees, retirees, Affinity Groups, friends and family—“good people doing great things”—all supported by GE businesses and corporate resources. The mission of GE Volunteers is to facilitate and support volunteering activities that improve life and meet critical needs in the communities where GE people live and work around the world. These activities are carried out through a wide range of projects in the areas of health, education, the environment and community-building.
The GE family partners with external organizations to help solve some of today’s biggest challenges in health, education, the environment and community-building. GE is also proud to encourage and support employee and retiree volunteerism throughout its global population. GE’s focus on volunteerism dates back to 1981, and further evolved in 2005 when GE Volunteers was more strategically positioned to encourage broader participation and to support a more significant contribution to our communities.
Since 2005, GE employees and retirees have reported more than 12 million hours spent volunteering on more than 57,000 projects spanning 66 countries. In 2016, employees volunteered more than 455,000 thousand hours. Also in 2016, GE’s local Volunteer Councils directed more than $533,000 in grants to community organizations around the globe. These grants helped the lives of many people by funding food pantries, shelters, social service organizations and after-school programs, among other initiatives.
GE’s scale also positions us to mobilize large groups of employees for the greater good. We do this each year on Global Community Days—days when all employees in one region or area volunteer in their communities—and through Global Month of Service projects. Each of these projects has had a significant impact on the environment, education, community-building or health. Our 269 local GE Volunteer Councils are a driving force that keeps the spirit of volunteerism alive around the globe.
For ten consecutive years, GE has been recognized by Junior Achievement with the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.
2016 GE Volunteer project highlights include:
Nature in the City
Green spaces in major cities not only add beauty to a busy metropolis, they also provide a place for relaxation and even learning. Nature in the City is San Francisco’s first organization dedicated to eco-literacy, restoration and stewardship of the city’s wild places. On November 10, 2016, GE volunteers worked at one of Nature in the City’s most important sites, the Adah’s Stairwell. Volunteers completed a variety of restoration and environmental tasks such as removing invasive plants, planting, moving cobblestones and helping to make this a beautiful space for the community to enjoy.
Bright Vision Hospital
Bright Vision Hospital is a 317-bed community hospital with inpatient services for subacute, rehabilitative, palliative and long-term care patients. The hospital is a sanctuary for individuals, including low-income individuals, in need of healthcare services. Many elderly patients call the hospital their home for long periods of time but receive few visitors. On November 4, 2016, 30 GE volunteers visited with these elderly patients in a one-on-one capacity. Conversations were shared and fun games were played leaving all those involved feeling uplifted.
Veterans Network Care Packages
The GE Veterans Network not only strives to support those that have previously served in the military, but also support those that are still actively serving. For the 2016 Global Month of Service, six GE Veterans Network locations, led by Chris Tubesing, once again answered the call to support deployed servicemen and women. When deployed, soldiers are not only far from friends and family, they are also without many of the comforts of home including basic necessities. The Veterans Network assembled and shipped over 720 care packages that included a wide variety of items including toiletries, socks, snacks and notes of appreciation. One volunteer from Peebles, Ohio shared, “Although I love my country deeply, I never had the honor of serving America through military service. As a token of my appreciation for those men and women who have served, I do what I can to show them my respect and appreciation for their service to our great nation. I enjoy Freedom and Liberty because of our Troops and Veterans. Sending care packages is the least I can do for them in return.”
Waste Management Crisis Meets the Full Power of Employee Volunteerism
On December 22, 2016, we shared the story of GE volunteers in Nigeria who helped combat the growing waste crisis in their country by teaching students in local secondary schools the value of recycling through a game called Recycle and Win. Working with an organization called Recycle Points, volunteers designed a recycling incentive program. The children earned points based on the number and type of recyclables they collected; the points could be redeemed for prizes ranging from basic school supplies to laptop computers. Read the full story.
Catholic Charities of Boston
As one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston offers nearly 90 programs and services in 27 locations around Eastern Massachusetts. From housing and food services to education and refugee programs, Catholic Charities’ programs support over 200,000 people annually. In three shifts on November 16, 2016, GE volunteers packaged and distributed Thanksgiving meal baskets to 250 families in the community. The baskets were filled with everything needed to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving side dishes and even included gift cards for turkeys, so the families’ Thanksgiving meals would be complete.
GE works on things that matter, and our volunteer work outlined here would not be possible without the commitment of our 295,000 global employees who come to work each day with a shared belief that things can be made better—it’s a way of thinking about the work we do and the technology we make for our customers and partners, and for the communities in which we all work and live.
Together, we are working to make the world work better.