Microsoft has a long tradition of employee giving and supporting communities. This has led to a culture of active volunteerism throughout Microsoft’s global offices, including in China. Efforts in China have been nothing less than noteworthy.
Throughout 2011 and early 2012, Microsoft China employees have shown real support to their surrounding communities. Even from afar, employees like Run Liu showcased true personal effort by mailing individual postcards to fellow employees all the way from Argentina, seeking their pledge to contribute at least 20 hours of community service in 2012.
Microsoft China volunteers.
In addition to personal acts of volunteerism, Microsoft employees, as a group, have also conducted numerous visits to homes, schools and centers. On 21 December 2011, 24 trainees and five instructors of Huiling, a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 with the aim to provide support for persons with mental disabilities, were invited to Microsoft Beijing West Campus. Eighteen Microsoft volunteers accompanied the Huiling trainees to the Microsoft Visitor Center to experience Kinect, have lunch together and go on a campus tour. Microsoft volunteers let Huiling trainees know they have equal opportunity to access technology.
In another group visit on 22 February, 95 Microsoft volunteers spent a morning with children of Beijing Tonxin migrant school. The volunteers helped out in many ways, including painting the school, fixing the school computers, cooking lunch for over 500 students and reading stories to the kids. During the visit, the migrant families accompanied the volunteers to the Migrant Worker Museum and the philanthropic store where Microsoft employees had donated more than 3,500 sets of clothes and over 500 books, toys and other resources since August 2011.
Later in the year, another group of 23 Microsoft volunteers embarked on a visit to the Xiaojiahe Sunshine kindergarten. The volunteers took training from qualified teachers before they visited the children, and brought reading materials, toys and photos for the kids. As part of the day’s agenda, the volunteers read stories to the kids and bonded with them. One of the volunteers even donated 800 RMB to buy snacks for the kids.
Another charity driven activity included an employee charity poker and auction event. These are only some of the acts of kindness demonstrated by Microsoft China staff. With the support of employees from around the globe, Microsoft strives to continue its tradition of pledging time on top of financial support to communities worldwide.