Corporate volunteerism builds culture of giving back in Kirkland

Throughout June, the city has benefited from corporate volunteerism initiatives hosted by a variety of organizations.

  • Friday, August 2, 2019 4:30pm
  • News

Whether the emphasis is on team-building, a reprieve from the office or just plain giving back to the community, corporate volunteerism is a win for participants, a win for the environment and a massive win for Kirkland parks and public spaces.

Throughout the month of June, the city of Kirkland has benefited from corporate volunteerism initiatives hosted by a variety of organizations, including Symetra Financial, Cisco Systems, Google, Gates Ventures, RootMetrics, Honda of Kirkland and others. From tearing out blackberry brambles at Juanita Beach Park, to leading the first ever invasive species removal effort at Kingsgate Park, corporate volunteers pulled weeds, uprooted ivy, spread mulch and restored habitat in some of the city’s public areas.

“Corporate volunteerism has a hugely positive impact on our community,” said Green Kirkland Partnership supervisor Jodie Galvan in a press release. “We are incredibly grateful for the local companies that make it possible for their employees to get involved, and for the hard-working volunteers who dive into the work wholeheartedly.”

The corporate volunteerism model is more than just a day of service, according to the release — the city’s corporate partners assist with recruitment by helping employees find a meaningful match to projects in their neighborhoods, improving the areas where they live, work and play. Google hosts GoogleServe, a month-long campaign meant to inspire Google employees to give back, while companies like Symetra celebrate week-long service campaigns.

In a recent event hosted by city partner EarthCorps, GoogleServe volunteers removed more than 6,300 square feet of invasive English ivy from Kingsgate Park. For the volunteers, the opportunity to get outside and improve public areas not only provides a fun change of pace, but also gives them the opportunity to do something physically satisfying while building relationships.

“It’s nice to take some time to do something different and feel like you’re giving back to the community,” Googler Greg Bickerman said in the release.

Kirkland’s network of corporate volunteer projects held throughout the month of June has been coordinated by the city’s Green Kirkland Partnership and nonprofit partner EarthCorps. Sponsorships by organizations like PCC Community Markets, King Conservation District, Mercurys Coffee and KIND Bars helped keep volunteers energized with coffee and snacks, the release states.

For more information on how to get involved in corporate volunteerism, contact city of Kirkland volunteer services coordinator Patrick Tefft at ptefft@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3012.

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