In June, we celebrated the seventh annual GoogleServe, where employees come together and volunteer in our communities. This year, we doubled GoogleServe from one to two weeks so we could involve more volunteers and serve more community organizations. And it paid off—more than 12,000 Googlers from 70+ offices participated in 800+ projects, making this our biggest GoogleServe to date. Here’s a look at how we gave back to our communities this year:
Making tech more accessible
At our Mountain View headquarters and in Hyderabad, India, Googlers volunteered in three SocialCoding4Good events. Googlers participated in an Accessibility Code Sprint with Benetech's Global Literacy Program to improve Go Read, a free mobile app for people with visual impairments and reading disabilities. A team of Googlers also worked with Bookshare to write descriptions for nearly 1,400 images in five STEM textbooks, making charts, graphs, and diagrams more accessible to blind and visually impaired students.
Helping veterans build their resumes
Googlers helped 475 veterans build their resumes as part of our “Help a Hero Get Hired” workshops in 14 cities: Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Austin, Boulder, Cambridge, Chicago, Kansas City, Moncks Corner, Mountain View, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. This was our fourth year partnering with Student Veterans of America to help veterans take the next steps in their careers.
Volunteering at local schools and community centers
In Oakland, volunteers canvassed the community with Hack the Hood, aBay Area Impact Challenge winner that trains youth from Oakland's low-income communities to build mobile-friendly websites. In San Francisco, Googlers visited the Presidio YMCA, where they repaired picnic tables, cleaned toys and organized closets, and worked with the YMCA’s marketing specialists to redesign their corporate partnerships materials. In Kampala, Uganda, Googlers painted a nursery at Sanyu Babies’ Home, helping brighten the living space of the Home’s young residents.
Building houses and preparing meals
Googlers in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Valparaiso, Chile, partnered with Techo to build houses for low-income families, while volunteers in Singapore prepared, cooked, and distributed 3,000 meals at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen. In Milan and Mountain View, Googlers packaged 16,500 meals with Stop Hunger Now, a nonprofit that ships food to schools, orphanages and clinics in more than 70 countries.
Protecting the environment
A group of Googlers in Auckland, New Zealand, cleared three kilometers of coastline at Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve, and Ann Arbor Googlers collected trash as they paddled down the Huron River with the Huron River Watershed Council. And volunteers in San Jose, Calif., mulched, weeded and cleared leaves in the beautiful gardens of the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy.
Click the image below for photos from this year’s GoogleServe.
GoogleServe is part of our larger commitment to giving and volunteering throughout the year; employees have 20 hours of work time a year to volunteer with approved charitable organizations. In 2013, Googlers volunteered 130,000 hours with 1,390 nonprofits around the world. If you want to learn how you can give back to your community, visit All for Good or VolunteerMatch.