Viasat celebrated Volunteer Week Oct. 14-19, and employees from our campuses around the world stepped up to make their corners of the world a little brighter.
This year, 1,400 Viasat employees contributed a total of 580 volunteer hours. Compared to 2018 Volunteer Week efforts, volunteer hours increased by 40% and the number of employee volunteers by 48%.
Employees said their experiences went beyond connecting them to their local communities.
“I thought Viasat’s Volunteer Week was awesome because it really helped make me connect to the larger Viasat community,” said Josh Tutt, a tech support representative at our Texas campus. “It’s easy to get focused on just my own local campus, so it was great to be a part of something bigger.
“These are all wonderful opportunities to give back,” said Carlsbad software engineer Laura Miles. “I love working for a company that cares about giving back to the community.”
The projects were as unique as each of our campuses.
Employees made, packed and delivered 180 dinners at the Haven House shelter; painted rooms at the Adult Art and Education Center; built picnic tables and rehabbed an educational building for Coastal Roots farm; helped adopt and walk dogs and bag dog food at the humane society; built a playhouse for a military family with Habitat for Humanity; packed backpacks for children in Mexico with Kids for Peace; sorted food at the San Diego Food Bank; cleaned up a beach; and provided virtual and in-person mentoring experiences for students.
The Austin crew cleaned up Mabel Davis Park, collecting more than 25 bags of litter along with a few unexpected items like a shopping cart, tires and a car battery. Mabel Davis is one of Austin’s biggest parks and the only official skate park in the city.
“We had a lot of fun! Well, as much fun as you can have cleaning up garbage in the woods,” said Viasat-Austin office manager Jamie Aguirre. “The leaders of the project were very grateful for our contribution, and it was a fun team-building event.”
An eight-person Baltimore team packed bags of essential items for the homeless, including body wipes, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, bar soap, deodorant, lotion, tooth brush and paste, hair comb and brush, lip moisturizer, socks, sealable bags and feminine products for women. The bags were donated to the Community Recovery Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland.
Baltimore’s employees also donated 50 games and board games to Baltimore Outreach Services, a family homeless shelter.
A team from our Boston office volunteered with Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of low-income and homeless children. Viasat employees were personal shoppers for children ranging in age from infants to pre-teens, filling out the children’s wish lists.
“It was a very grounding experience selecting bundles of clothing, underwear and socks, a pair of day-to-day shoes, boots, winter coats, hats and mittens,” said Boston office manager Margaret Costello. “It was exhilarating at times. But the gravity of what we were doing was stunning at different points.
“I’m so glad we had this opportunity with some amazing coworkers to help the most vulnerable in our society as we step into the cold winter months in Boston.”
Bryan/College Station, TX
In Texas, our employees volunteered at the Brazos Valley Food Bank, helping sort and package donated food items and preparing over 800 meals for local families during our shift.
“This was also the first event I’ve participated in with Viasat Volunteer Week,” Josh Tutt said. “I knew that working with the Brazos Valley Food Bank would be a streamlined and accessible experience for all of our volunteers, and it would be good work towards benefitting our local community.”
Our two offices in Chennai participated in a blood donation drive, lake cleanup, volunteered at area schools and a nursing home and planted trees.
The Cleveland office hosted two Volunteer Week events: a Food & Funds Drive for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and a charity bake sale benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
The office raised donations for the hospital, while the food drive generated 50 pounds of food for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Led by employee donations along with the Viasat match, contributions will buy 424 meals – which will be sent to the food bank.
A group of 35 Viasat-Denver employees marched up a trail at Roxborough State Park to help widen the Lyons Overlook Trail. Coordinating with Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado, the Viasat crew wielded pickaxes, shovels and saws to expand a section of the trail to allow an all-terrain power wheelchair to pass. The effort will enable physically disabled people to make their way up the trail to a popular scenic overlook of the Fountain Formation.
Viasat Ireland’s volunteers decided to help tackle food insecurity, by making, packing and delivering meals to local homeless. Dublin volunteers also embarked on Operation Clean Sweep. In two hours, they collected about 50 pounds of garbage from along Dublin’s Grand Canal. The crew then formed an assembly line in Viasat-Dublin’s staff rec room, making more than 200 sandwiches. That evening, they distributed the sandwiches with members of Dublin’s Feed Our Homeless charity group, also helping collect donated food from the city’s retail and food businesses.
In Duluth, employees linked up with Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, a nonprofit dedicated to removing trash and illegal signage along county roadways. The group broke into teams and picked up litter along the streets surrounding the Viasat campus. Their efforts yielded 20 bags of miscellaneous litter. Duluth team members also helped with the Oct. 21 golf tournament that benefits the Family Promise of Gwinnett County, which helps homeless families regain housing and independence.
Viasat UK took part in this year’s Volunteering week by hosting a bake sale and volunteering time to help sort out the store cupboard at Step by Step. This local charity provides support, training and lodgings to young adults no longer able to live at home.
The Germantown office participated in Volunteer Week by assembling bags of toiletries and basic supplies for a nearby homeless shelter and writing cards for currently deployed military troops. The group created 69 bags and wrote 20 cards, with employees taking additional cards home to extend the volunteer experience to their families.
Employees in Marlborough volunteered inside and outside the office. They donated 28 hours to the Marlborough Community Cupboard Food Pantry and Clothing Center. That work included sorting through over 35 trash bags full of clothing and organizing the clothing center, plus organizing and cleaning the food pantry and distribution center. Inside of the office, employees wrote a total of 40 thank-you cards to be sent to military service members.
San Jose, CA
The crew in San Jose got back to nature, helping Our City Forest Community Nursery maintain and grow trees. A dozen employees brought new life to several of San Jose’s low-income communities by planting trees there.
In Tempe, employees collected more than 500 books and donated money for a $250 gift card that will purchase more books, supporting the UMON New Day Centers for homeless children.
Employees gave back in a variety of ways, donating blood and making donations to Operation Gratitude – which supports the military and first responders.