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The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in this Pandemic by Eamonn Sinnott

Intel Ireland recently celebrated the incredible impact of it’s employee volunteering efforts which resulted in over €1 million euro being donated to 278 organisations across Ireland. The funds were generated through a matching grant initiative which involves a ‘match’ of $10 being paid from the Intel Foundation for every hour that an Intel employee volunteers at their chosen organisation. Intel Ireland General Manager Eamonn Sinnott reflects on the spirit of volunteering and its central role in our communities. 

 

The spirit of  volunteerism is alive and well in this Pandemic
In Ireland we have a long and unwavering commitment to volunteerism, a commitment that has been steadfast throughout times of prosperity and through times of challenge. As we see all around us, the best in Ireland comes out at times of adversity and none more so than now, in this strange, unusual and challenging crisis.

Over the past number of weeks we see the benefits of volunteering, as communities across the country come together to look after one another in so many ways – volunteers helping others to get their shopping and medicines, people fundraising for the frontline, everybody obeying the restrictions to help our fellow citizens stay healthy, together in spirit but apart physically.

Crises like this make the things that we value most become more important than ever. Central among these things is community spirit. The spirit of giving, of looking after one another, of helping other people – is very much part of the Irish DNA. You never have to look too far to find examples of Irish people reaching out to care for others both at home and abroad. A number of surveys, from the Charities Aid Foundation to the Charities Regulator and GoFundMe, report us to be amongst the most generous and giving of our time and resources in the world.

As President Mary McAleese said some years ago, ‘volunteers are the backbone of our country and they are its heart and soul’. We see this same spirit amongst our Intel employees, with volunteering holding a very special and important place in the company, no more so than here in Ireland.

Throughout our 50-plus year history we have encouraged it, facilitated it and sought out ways that we can make it as meaningful and impactful as possible for employees. That resulted in us starting a matching grant programme 12 years ago. Every year, for every hour that an Intel employee volunteers, there’s a match of $10/the equivalent in euro paid by the Intel Foundation to the organisation where they give their time. This year, for the first time, the programme saw more than €1 million donated to hundreds of organisations right across Ireland, an important milestone for us.

While the grant, and the impact it can have, is important, what I’m most proud of is what that monetary achievement represents – over 100,000 hours of time given by our employees in the last year. The grant is the added bonus for the thing that makes the most impact – our volunteers precious personal time.

Charities, sports clubs, emergency services, education and social groups are the backbone of our communities. It is these organisations that our employees give their time to, as do so many others across the country. It is these organisations that make our communities what they are. It is these organisations that bring people together and make a real difference for so many.

Simply put, our communities, and our society, is a better place because of volunteers. I am proud to live in a country that values volunteerism and to work for a company that chooses to celebrate it, and to reward the giving of time by our employees.

Eamonn Sinnott is Intel Vice President, Manufacturing and Operations and General Manager, Intel Ireland.

 

How You Can Learn More: 1 million euro donated to Irish organisations thanks to Intel employees


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