At some companies, the workday is only that: employees clock in for work, and then clock out when they’re done. Other companies offer some volunteer time, but employees are restricted to short volunteer hours in their workday before returning to work. Companies like Eaton Corporation, a power management company doing business in more than 175 countries, encourage the volunteer and philanthropic efforts of their employees. And despite its large size, Eaton keeps it local – and gives back to local communities with the efforts of all team members.
Eaton has long supported many philanthropic efforts in local communities and has partnered with United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County for many years. In addition to their annual pledge drive for United Way, the company values the efforts of our Backpack Coalition, which provides backpacks and school supplies to students with financial constraints. For their most recent contribution to United Way, Eaton volunteers supplied and packed backpacks for the entire Hawthorne Elementary School in Waukesha.
It's a felt passion among the employees, who are encouraged to spend time each quarter to volunteer. This is especially true for their new team members. As they came together from across Eaton’s sites in Wisconsin, new team members networked with each other and built relationships while knowing that they were giving back. Their excitement grew when they learned what they would be doing that day, ultimately helping school-aged children and their families.
“We knew we wanted to make a bigger impact,” said Jackie Pride, the Communications & Engagement Manager at Eaton. “You know that they're going to really be able to use these school supplies. So, it was a no brainer that we wanted to help all those students and given the size of our group and the time allotted for the community service activity, it was a perfect fit.”
The fun-filled day went by fast onsite at Eaton’s Waukesha location. Employees volunteered to pack the backpacks, restock supplies, and keep the day organized with other needed tasks. With a group of mostly engineers, it was entertaining to see how they continued to improve the process.
Onsite group volunteer opportunities are popular with companies, because it gives the employees a chance to participate without having to go anywhere they’re unfamiliar. United Way staff will bring all supplies, set up, and present the event, beginning the employees’ efforts to help the community in any capacity.
“You could hear people talking to each other. They were all in sync and realizing that this this wasn't just building widgets, this was building kits that were going to help children in need in the community,” Jackie explained.
By the end of the day, all 350 backpacks had been packed and sent on their way to Hawthorne Elementary School, where they’ll be ready for the upcoming school year. This was more than packing backpacks. For Eaton, it illustrated a core value of the company: improving the lives of those in the community.
“I was so proud of the team, and how they joined together to complete this monumental task,” Jackie reflected. “It's undeniable that they're going to change some lives of kids in the community.”
At United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, we’re grateful for volunteer efforts made by corporations like Eaton. Eaton’s dedication and efforts to the community remind us that to live better, we must Live United.
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