December 14, 2021
Apple celebrates a year of giving in the communities it calls home
Employee giving and volunteering program has raised nearly $725 million over the past decade
For a few hours each week, Mandy Hazen, a member of Apple’s enterprise team, logs onto the Crisis Text Line platform from her home in Fremont, Calif., and begins chatting with people across the countries facing difficult personal situations.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the longtime Apple volunteer began looking for ways to continue helping others remotely and discovered the organization, which anonymously connects people in crisis to a volunteer who has been professionally trained to listen and offer support. Since joining in March 2020, Hazen has logged more than 400 hours of texting through Apple’s Employee Giving program; Apple matches every hour an employee volunteers, or every dollar they donate, with a monetary donation to the same organization.
“It makes me so happy that Apple is helping to magnify the time I spend on it,” says Hazen. “The money is going to such an amazing organization meeting people where they are during a really tough time.”
During her volunteering, she has helped counsel hundreds of people dealing with situations such as depression, domestic violence and isolation and, when needed, connect them with professional help and resources.
“It made me realize that sometimes people need someone to lean on to get them through a tough time,” Hazen says, “but they know we’re here to talk to them and that’s what it’s all about.” is their strength that helps them move on to the next day.”
In the United States and around the world, Apple and its employees are finding new ways to give back to the communities they call home.
This year, Apple’s Employee Giving program celebrates its 10th anniversary, having raised nearly $725 million for 39,000 organizations worldwide, including more than $120 million distributed to organizations around the world in 2021. Funds raised through Apple’s Employee Giving program include the work of 68,000 employees who have logged nearly 2 million volunteer hours.
In addition to contributions made through the Employee Giving program, Apple’s community investment team donates millions of dollars each year to nonprofits around the world, including World Central Kitchen, The King Center and China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.
Apple also donates millions of dollars each year through its Strengthen Local Communities (SLC) grant program, which provides funds to local organizations in the communities where Apple team members live and work.
At St. Bartholomew’s Church in midtown Manhattan, a long line of men and women line up for food. This soup kitchen operates seven days a week, whatever the weather, and hasn’t missed a night in 36 years.
It’s part of the Grand Central Food Program, one of many services provided by the Coalition for the Homeless, which meets the needs of New York’s most vulnerable. Apple helps fund the Coalition’s work through SLC grants.
Juan De La Cruz is the director of the Grand Central Food Program and has seen the number of people served on St. Barths rise from around 150 per night before COVID-19 to 425 per night during the pandemic.
“A lot of support programs have closed and so we’ve seen people come from as far away as Staten Island because that’s the only place they know – rain or shine – there will be a meal for them,” says De La Cruz. “We’ve been able to continue providing these meals thanks to the support of so many organizations, including Apple and its employees, and it means the world to us.”
Tom Sheppard has been a member of the Apple Store team in New York since 2009. His three youngest children all attended Public School 41 (PS 41) in the Bronx, and Sheppard began volunteering to help to give them the same opportunities as students from other schools. . During a three-year period, he volunteered 1,000 hours. In the first year alone, that was equivalent to a $10,000 donation from Apple to match his time in the Giving program.
“Find what excites you, figure out how you can share it with others, then see how Apple can help you amplify sharing,” says Sheppard, who has also launched programs including an iPad Photo Club and a course. to help parents graduate from high school. “Sharing my love of technology was so important because it exposed these kids to something they didn’t have access to before – and maybe it opens up a future with more opportunity.”
LaToya Reed’s children also attend PS 41 and she met Sheppard through his volunteer efforts. She was so inspired by her work that she decided to volunteer as well.
“Mr. Sheppard made the kids feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone and getting excited about technology,” Reed says. “He pushes me to be a better me when it comes to kids. children. He pushes me to always go the extra mile because the kids deserve it – so I want to continue the work he’s done and make sure it continues.
In Austin, Texas, SLC grants support the work of the African American Youth Harvest Foundation (AAYHF), which provides community resources to African American and low-income youth and families. This includes mentoring and counseling programs for youth at risk, as well as a variety of other initiatives that take a holistic approach to care.
“We want to know what’s going on at home, what’s going on at school,” says AAYHF CEO Michael Lofton. “Are your lights on?” Do you have anything to eat? Do you have clothes? Does anyone need mental health or addictions counselling? Because if we want to be successful, we have to make sure that the environment around someone is also okay.
This year, Apple’s funding went to AAYHF’s COVID-19 response, including a program to help increase vaccination rates by recruiting high school students to go door-to-door in their communities.
“Thanks to Apple, we’re putting boots on the court,” says Lofton. “We pay young people $17 an hour to go to apartment complexes and help others get vaccinated. They are mostly African American communities and these kids make a real difference – sometimes if you live in an environment where there is stress, where there is always a need, it makes a difference when you can give back and help someone. ‘a.
Cork, Ireland is home to the organization Nasc, which means link in Irish. Nasc works to support migrants and refugees in Ireland and offers a number of different resources, including the Gateway program for women, which is supported by Apple’s SLC grants.
“Our goal is to meet women where they are and promote self-confidence, self-esteem and inclusion,” says Claire Mackey, Gateway Project Coordinator. “Apple has helped keep the project going and given us the flexibility to be creative in how we support women. It has given us confidence that we can keep the work going, and that means a lot to us and for the people we help.
There are currently 40 women from 14 different countries in the program, and they are often paired with volunteers to help learn English and foster a sense of connection. Saba, from Jordan, was paired with Apple employee and volunteer Barbara Ito, originally from Japan but now based in Singapore. The women spoke once a week for months.
“I talked to him about everything,” Saba said. “She asked me on every call, ‘How are you feeling today?’ Because of COVID, I have been sad at times and she has helped me feel upbeat and happy.
“We could find common topics for discussion, even though we come from different backgrounds,” Ito explains. “This opportunity meant a lot to me – I think it’s important for people around the world to learn from each other and take care of each other.”
Rachel Wolf Tulley
Apple Media Phone Support