This post was written in collaboration with Andrew Riha, Intel Europe Corporate Affairs.Full of positive energy and good will, December is one of my favorite months. And no wonder, as it hosts so many festive days – the major seasonal ones we are all familiar with, and another one that I have a strong personal connection to: International Volunteer Day. It’s a special day that I think really adds sparkle and magic to the December air. Celebrated on December 5th, International Volunteer Day (IVD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. Governments, the UN and civil society organizations join volunteers around the world in celebrating the great achievements made by people donating their time and energy for the good of others. For me, this day is an opportunity to reflect on the special energy that volunteers bring to their projects. And, on how this energy causes a ripple effect – spreading more and more positive energy throughout the world. Rino Cavallucci is a great example of someone who is “rippling”. Rino, a Business Development Manager in our Munich office, has for the past four years headed a toy and goods donation drive to provide Christmas presents to needy children. Given to orphans, street children, and those from destitute families, these boxes bring joy to children whose daily existence is rather bleak. “Many children around the world don’t know what it means to get personal presents as they either live with their families in extreme poverty or are homeless orphans,” explained Rino. “I believe we can bring joy to these children’s lives.” This is not a company project or a mandated program; no one asked Cavallucci to drive it. He does it because he wants to. Because he cares. Intel supports Cavallucci’s initiative by covering the freight costs of the parcels sent from Intel to the Rudolf-Walther Stiftung offices (the NGO organizing this initiative). Intel also covers the transportation costs of the 40-ton truck used to distribute the presents to schools, hospitals and kindergartens in Romania. Each box is handed over directly to a child. An unforgettable moment, the children’s delight is enormous. Happy faces and a deep gratitude reward volunteers for their efforts. This is the story of how one person is able to motivate hundreds of people to prepare special Christmas presents. These presents, in turn, bring immense joy to the lives of 336 children. One person positively impacting the lives of hundreds other people – donors and recipients alike. That is quite a big ripple. But it doesn’t stop there. For each employee and box, we log volunteer hours in the Intel Involved Master Tracker program, with the hours all counting toward qualification for Intel Involved Matching Grants. The total grant, which reflects the value of the volunteer hours, is donated to a non-profit organization aiding children. Thus, in total, the number of lives touched by Cavallucci is much, much greater. It’s because of Rino Cavallucci and thousands like him that I believe love can be packaged in a box. May this December bring boxes of love to all those in need. Happy Volunteer Day to all!
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