Sharing our Expertise
The power of volunteering
Photo: Matt Cossand
Making volunteer hours count
Boeing employees turn volunteer efforts into charitable contributions
Mark Allen, a Boeing employee, greatly appreciates the company's dollar match for the hundreds of volunteer hours he donates each year as a top responder for King County Explorer Search and Rescue, or KCESAR.
"The online process to submit volunteer hours for gift-matching is quick and easy to navigate," said Allen who works in Information Technology in Puget Sound. "Without the generous contributions from companies like Boeing, the rescue operations performed by KCESAR would be much more difficult to accomplish."
KCESAR is a youth volunteer program designed to assist the county in search and rescue operations. It is one of numerous nonprofit groups across the United States that receives support because Boeing volunteers are turning their hours into charitable gift-match dollars.
An avid hiker himself, Allen decided to join the group about four years ago after trying to assist in a rescue for a hiker nearby his home. All volunteers are trained in wilderness survival skills and advanced medical aid to help rescue lost and injured hikers and climbers in the area's rugged mountainous terrain.
Photo: Dr. Minnetta Gardinier, PHD
He quickly learned that he needed the training provided by KCESAR to be up for the task. Since joining the team, he has even rescued some Boeing coworkers.
The company will contribute $250 for every 25 hours of volunteer time with a single organization, up to $6,000 per employee each year. Since launching the Employee Volunteer Gift Match Program in 2010, employees have raised more than $1.3 million for more than 700 nonprofit organizations by contributing more than 130,000 hours of volunteer service.
Boeing's gift-match program has also opened doors for other employees like Teresa Camp.
Camp, a chief engineer and a pilot, works with Boeing Defense & Government Services. She volunteers a sizable portion of her spare time with Wings of Hope, a Nobel Peace Prize nominated global humanitarian organization headquartered in St. Louis.
Wings of Hope refurbishes donated aircraft for use around the globe through its 154 bases in 45 countries. Its volunteers provide support to some of the world's most isolated areas, many only accessible by aircraft.
Last June, on behalf of Wings of Hope's domestic Medical Relief and Air Transport Program, Camp competed for the second time in the annual Air Race Classic, an all-women transcontinental air race that takes place over four days and covers more than 2,100 miles (3.2 kilometers) from Ft. Myers, Fla., to Frederick, Md.
"It makes me happy to know I'm making a difference. In addition to raising money for Wings of Hope, I hope to inspire other women to learn how to fly as well.""
—Teresa Camp, chief engineer for Boeing Defense & Government Services
"It makes me happy to know I'm making a difference," Camp said. "In addition to raising money for Wings of Hope, I hope to inspire other women to learn how to fly as well."
Camp has also volunteered as a mentor for FIRST Robotics at DeSmet High School in St. Louis for nearly 10 years. She believes by building robots with students, she serves as a role model and empowers young people to take on challenges in life.
Camp tracks her volunteer hours for both organizations. Once she completes the minimum of 25 hours of volunteering for each organization, she applies for a gift match. Both Wings of Hope and FIRST Robotics have received matching funds from Boeing on Camp's behalf.
"The added funding—in addition to the volunteer time—really makes a difference for these organizations and the people they serve," Camp said.
Patrice Mingo is the strategic programs director for Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship and manages the Boeing Employee Volunteer Gift Match Program. Mingo said that since implementing a broader portfolio approach, there's been a notable increase in employee participation.
"Once we expanded the gift-match program to include volunteering, we started to reach more employees and build on their actions to make a positive impact on our communities," Mingo said. "Providing the gift match for employee volunteers enables Boeing to support our employees, who selflessly reach out to others in their communities with kind and compassionate hearts."
"Any Boeing volunteer would agree that dedicating time to support a worthy cause is time well spent—for the heart of volunteering springs out of helping others without expecting any payback."