Boeing employees help put vulnerable communities on the map

Employees volunteered an impressive 200,000 hours so far in 2020, including 1,200 hours with the American Red Cross’s Missing Maps project.

November 30, 2021 in Community

As part of the global Missing Maps initiative, humanitarians like Hardy (pictured) use open-source geospatial data to put communities on the map, via the Open Street Map platform.

American Red Cross photo

Many of the world’s communities that are most vulnerable to natural disasters, conflicts and disease epidemics are not on any map. This creates problems for humanitarian relief organizations like the Red Cross when they are trying to get aid to these communities in times of need. In 2014, the American Red Cross launched Missing Maps, a humanitarian project that engages volunteers to map these vulnerable communities in an effort to help them better prepare for disasters.

Over the past year, Boeing employees volunteered more than 1,200 hours with two key Missing Maps projects to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society which were aimed at enabling communities to prepare for the impact of floods.

David Hensley, Human Resources generalist, with support from Boeing Global Engagement, helped organize a Missing Maps volunteer event for his function.

“Knowing I’m helping communities in times of their greatest need is rewarding,” said Hensley. “The social connection with my peers is also great as it makes the company feel a little closer together. The Missing Maps project is a great fit because it’s so easy for new people, and it scales with as many people as you can get.”

Boeing employees helped map more than 73,000 structures across both of the projects in 2021.

Boeing employees volunteer at a Low Country Food Bank event packing and loading boxes of food for the community.

Boeing photo

“I liked learning about a problem that I wasn’t familiar with before — how important maps are for delivering humanitarian aid and the challenges of unmapped areas,” said Natalie Yaollen, principal strategy development specialist, who volunteered on the Missing Maps project with her colleagues in the Leadership Next program. “It was a simple way that I could help from home.”

Thanks to employee involvement in the Missing Maps project, Boeing will make an additional donation to the Red Cross as part of the Boeing Team Volunteer Match program.

“The work that Boeing employees did will truly make a difference in our efforts in the Bangladesh basin to help reduce disaster risk and enhance community resiliency in the region,” said Alyse Kieber-Emmons, American Red Cross regional philanthropy officer. “Thank you again for the strong support and partnership and for helping a community be better prepared for the next disaster.”

Boeing employees volunteer at a Low Country Food Bank event packing and loading boxes of food for the community.

Boeing photo

Missing Maps is just one example of how Boeing employees can make an impact in communities around the world.  Employees donated more than $48 million, including the company match, to charitable causes worldwide, to date, in 2021. Local chapters of the Employees Community Fund of Boeing (ECF), Boeing’s employee-managed nonprofit, also made an impact this year, investing $4.5 million in local communities. With careful adherence to both Boeing and local safety requirements, and through virtual volunteering, employees volunteered an impressive 200,000 hours this year so far.

In St. Louis, employees volunteered with the USO packing Thanksgiving meals for veterans and their families.

“I found this event through YourCause, then shared it in our staff meeting,” said Dasha Filatova, Boeing procurement agent. “It was great to be able to give back to those in need.”

Maria Sederes, Boeing procurement agent, heard about the opportunity and was excited to participate.

Boeing volunteers pack Thanksgiving meals at a USO packing event.

USO photo; Photo was taken off site; local COVID-19 guidelines were met.

“The best part was definitely seeing Boeing employees coming together to help for a good cause,” Sederes said. “It’s such an easy way to meet other employees from many different areas of the Boeing world, and the USO leaders were so thankful for the volunteers.”

In Charleston, employees volunteered to distribute food at a drive-through event with the Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) in November. From January through December 2022, Boeing’s $150,000 investment in LCFB’s childhood hunger programs will provide a total of more than 165,000 nutritious meals. Since 2010, Boeing has provided more than $1 million in support of LCFB bringing more than 1.5 million meals to local families in need.

“Find a cause or work that you believe in, and volunteering will be the best part of your day,” Yaollen said. “I feel so lucky for all that I have in my life, and it’s important to me to figure out a way to give back to our world. The Boeing gift match is a great way to make your efforts count twice, which makes your volunteer work feel particularly meaningful.”