Three days to make a difference during the European Year of Volunteering

Take a Microsoft consultant in Madrid, add a PR Director in Kiev,  include a development tools specialist in Warsaw and an online marketing director in London. Then add to this the HR consultant in Dublin and finally throw in a very generous sprinkling of technical experts all around Europe. That’s when you start to get a sense of the cumulative value that employees at Microsoft are bringing to charitable organizations in the communities where they live and work in Europe.

We are very proud of our employee volunteering commitment at Microsoft and encourage employees in Europe to avail of up to three days paid leave each year to work on a charitable cause or support a non-profit in their neighborhood. Time and again this involves applying technical expertise in bringing the benefits and the magic of software, to cash strapped charities and non-profits. However, it is about much more than IT for our volunteers. 

Just this month, on Safer Internet Day, over 800 employees and concerned parents in 26 countries around Europe volunteered to train children, teachers and parents on how to keep children safe online. In Russia and Spain, going way beyond the three days to make a difference, employees volunteer their time on an ongoing basis throughout the year to train unemployed and other digitally excluded groups in the community skills training projects supported by the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program.

I wanted to share here some of the great volunteering examples from around Europe. Read how one volunteer’s technical support for the Scout Movement in the UK involved installation of almost 50 kilometers of cable for a jamboree. Find out how another volunteer supported critical information sharing at  Doctors without Borders (Medicos Sin Fronteros) through deployment of Microsoft Office Sharepoint in Spain. Hear how one employee is bringing Microsoft Silverlight technology to NGOs all over Poland. Learn how employees in Greece, Ireland and Poland are going the extra mile for the Special Olympics to support the games and bring the benefits of cloud to their day to day collaboration and operations. Finally read about the PR training for NGOs in the Ukraine, HR support for a Dublin charity working with long term unemployed and the development of an online marketing strategy for the Homeless World Cup.

We welcome the opportunities provided during the European Year of Volunteering to grow these efforts even further at Microsoft. I am personally enthused and motivated by the commitment of our employees in using their three days to make a difference to devote technical and other skills for the benefit of charitable organizations throughout Europe.

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