GoogleServe 2012: More skills-based service
This year we celebrated our fifth GoogleServe Global Week of Service—an annual tradition in which Googlers around the world join together in community service projects. Volunteering together helps to revitalize and strengthen our connections with the cities and towns in which we live and work, and also brings us closer together as a global team.
In the past we’ve done hundreds of projects that address local community needs and engage our hearts and hands. This year, inspired by Billion+ Change and Reimagining Service as well as industry research, we focused on incorporating more skills-based projects. Our goal is to use our professional skills to generate more value for the communities we serve and to give Googlers an opportunity to have an even more impactful and fulfilling volunteer experience.
With that in mind, our software engineers developed code to help make math formulas accessible to blind students with Social Coding 4 Good; with the Student Veterans of America recruiters led resume and interviewing skills workshops with veterans; and with the Branson Centre in South Africa sales and business development professionals trained entrepreneurs in online tools to grow and optimize their small businesses.
Overall, more than 5,000 Googlers helped serve their communities across 400+ different projects as part of GoogleServe this year. Here’s a sampling of some of the other projects we participated in:
- We led advertising optimization sessions for nonprofits through the Google Grants program everywhere from Hamburg to Hyderabad and Sydney to San Francisco.
- We held computer literacy classes for community members at the Dog River Library in Atlanta, with the Dublin Simon Community and the Crumlin College in Dublin and with Cambridge Community Television in Cambridge.
- We taught teenagers how to build and maintain websites with Fidel in Tel Aviv, and we conducted arts workshops for youth all over India—with MAD in Gurgaon, the Open Door Foundation in Bangalore and the India Literacy Project in Hyderabad.
- We refurbished computers with FreeGeek in Portland, with reBOOT Canada in Waterloo and with Goodwill Industries in Austin.
- We trained aspiring entrepreneurs with Impulsa in Mexico City and taught self defense and cooking classes for women entrepreneurs with Kamilini in Gurgaon, India.
- With HandsOn Bay Area, we launched a new series of ongoing team-based projects, including software development to improve the Mountain View Whisman School District library information system and career development trainings with Larkin Street Youth Services.
- We developed curriculum to teach physics through pinball at the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, Calif. and recorded videos to help inspire girls to pursue science, technology and engineering-related careers with Techbridge in Oakland.
See our Life at Google page for photos of some of our employees and partners in action. While we do set aside a week to focus on serving the communities in which we work and live, giving back is an ongoing effort here at Google. If you'd like to join us in using your skills for social good, check out All for Good, for opportunities to give back in your community year-round.