‘Tis the season for giving: Viasat employees show their generous spirit

From California to Denver to Georgia to Ireland, employees turned out this year to help the less fortunate


Viasat employees around the world spent the weeks leading up to Christmas wrapping presents, collecting toys and buying gifts for those in need – all part of an annual corporate tradition of giving back during the holiday season.

Employees at each campus selected charities and events that have significance in their communities. Wherever possible, Viasat Giving matched employee donations, doubling each campus’s contribution.

Here’s a sampling of the employee-led projects at several of our locations:

“I have never had such an outpouring of goodwill, charity, and generosity before. It was awe-inspiring.” — Amanda Hodge, Viasat Duluth (GA)

Carlsbad, CA

Perhaps no one knows how to fundraise better than the finance department, which held its own holiday fundraiser with a high-tech twist to jump-start participation. Volunteers decorated a tree with hand-made ornaments. Each ornament was affixed with a QR code employees could scan to reach the donation site for the Oceanside, CA Women’s Resource Center.


This ‘high-tech’ tree sponsored by the Viasat Fiance Dept. in Carlsbad contained ornaments with QR codes, enabling people to scan and donate to a local charity.

Finance staff donated about $2,500, which Viasat Giving matched for a total contribution of $5,000.

The Women’s Resource Center is a nonprofit that provides counseling, food, education and shelter to victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

Carlsbad employees gave with their hands and their wallets to the Community Resource Center whose mission is to end hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in the North County region of San Diego.

A total of 23 volunteers representing the Social Impact department worked two separate shifts packing baskets for the CRC’s Holiday Baskets, San Diego’s largest distribution program. Holiday Baskets is a free three-day free event for seniors, survivors of domestic violence and people from low-income households. During the annual Holiday Baskets, more than 6,000 people – including households representing about 3,000 children – take home a holiday meal, food staples, clothing items and a few gifts to brighten their holidays.

Government Systems employees donated more than 75 blankets that were included in the Holiday Baskets.

Just before the holidays, youth from San Diego’s nonprofit Center Stage Productions came to the Viasat campus to wrap employees’ gifts in exchange for donations. Viasat employees pitched in to help wrap, too. In total, the crew wrapped about 400 presents.

Center Stage is a nonprofit youth theatre that prides itself on creating authentic, professional theatre opportunities for students from every background.

“Several of our past students have continued to follow their passion and have made it to the Broadway stage, so thank you to Viasat for being a part of the magic,” said a representative of the nonprofit.

Dozens of California children will get new toys and bicycles for Christmas — thanks to the generosity of Viasat Carlsbad employees. They donated 210 toys and 11 bikes to Toys for Tots, plus $3,500 in cash used to buy 24 additional bicycles.

College Station, TX

Our College Station employees spent about $900 to provide gifts for 23 children who are clients at the Bryan, Texas-based Scotty’s House, a nonprofit dedicated to providing healing, safety and justice to children who are victims of abuse. The match from Viasat Giving brought College Station’s total contribution to Scotty’s House to $1,788.

College Station employees also wrapped gifts for other employees for $2 each, donating the money to the Ronald McDonald House.


Viasat Denver donated 251 toys and cash to Toys for Tots. The Viasat Giving match means Toys for Tots will receive a grand total of $3,970.

Denver employees also came together on-site one day to stuff mugs with small gifts for Meals on Wheels recipients as part of its annual Christmas in a Cup event. Volunteers stuffed 357 mugs and donated an additional $620 to Volunteers of America. Meals on Wheels recipients got the mugs with their meals on Christmas Day.

Dublin, Ireland

For the third year in a row, employees in our Dublin office selected names from a Giving Tree supplied by Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

In all, the team donated 67 gifts that will go to needy children and families in the Dublin area. Viasat Giving matched the donations, sending another $1,800-plus to the organization.

“A little help at the right time can make all the difference,” said Dublin office manager Lauren Pritchard. “And donations like ours could be just what a family needs to help them through this winter.”

Duluth, GA

In Georgia, our Duluth campus employees adopted 40 child and senior angels from The Salvation Army Atlanta’s Angel Tree Program. Each angel adoption came with a wish list.

Duluth employees filled the entire list, including bicycles, microwaves, skateboards, a TV, car seat and many other items.

“We also made sure every child had a school-appropriate outfit with either a new coat and/or pair of shoes,” said Amanda Hodge of Viasat’s Duluth office. “I have never had such an outpouring of goodwill, charity, and generosity before. It was awe-inspiring.”

With the Viasat Giving match, the Duluth office donated an additional $2,000 to the local Salvation Army chapter.

Marlborough, MA

On the East Coast, employees in our Marlborough, MA office bought gifts and food for 30 area children in need as part of their seventh annual United Way Giving Tree event. Several employees also volunteered at the United Way food pantry before the holidays.

“Marlborough went above and beyond this year; everybody gave so much more than they had asked for,” said Lesley Russell, administrative assistant at Viasat Marlborough. “It brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. I couldn’t be prouder.”

In addition to the $3,700 worth of gift and food items, Viasat Giving gave United Way a $3,700 cash donation.

Tempe, AZ

Our Tempe team took time out from building the ViaSat-3 satellite constellation to buy gifts for the Mesa Public School’s Migrant Program. Tempe participated in the Adopt an Angel program, helping children of migrants who work on dairy farms and typically live in trailers. In all, Viasat Tempe collected $7,464 in donations and toys for the program.

“We donated 211 precious gifts for some very special kids,” said Tempe administrator Kathy Nolan. “And because Viasat is so awesome they will send a check in the amount of $5,000 to the Migrant Family Program to be used for other items like shoes, clothes, socks, etc. for the children to attend school throughout the year.”