Recent times have challenged us all. The data is startling. Our communities and the world face a global pandemic, unprecedented disasters from hurricanes to floods and deep-rooted racial inequalities and systemic injustices that affect many of our families, neighbors and colleagues.
While the pandemic changed how people engaged for impact, local restrictions and safety remained top priorities. Employees rose to the challenge to ensure our communities, nonprofit partners and schools were supported while advancing our ambition. Today on International Volunteer Day, we celebrate how our employees have continued to be active in the communities where they work and live.
“People are the catalyst for change, which has been both needed and challenged more than ever. We remained steadfast in working to make things better,” said Justin Land, Program Officer, Dow Global Citizenship. “Being apart was difficult; volunteering proved to be a platform where employees could come together for a higher purpose. I was repeatedly impressed by how colleagues created new ways to engage in our communities while keeping safety at the forefront.”
Over the past few years, organizations experienced a decline in participation rates in their employer-volunteer programs, and the pandemic accelerated this trend. In fact, the 2021 edition of the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose’s (CECP) Giving in Numbers report outlined, “The reduction in in-person volunteering yielded a drop in the median volunteered hours, which decreased by 37% between 2018 and 2020.” In 2021 the trend continued as the global health crisis continued and lockdowns persisted in many countries, but Team Dow stayed agile and provided a hand up to those who needed it most.
Volunteerism as we have known it has experienced seismic shifts – limits to physical gatherings, advancements in coming together virtually and the requirements of facial coverings and social distancing.
Volunteers worked relentlessly to make things better. Here’s how we tackled the challenge:
The underlying desire to make a difference is unwavering. Thanks to more than half of the Dow workforce who continue to volunteer, despite facing many barriers.
On International Volunteer Day and every day, we celebrate the Dow volunteers who engaged for impact in our communities to help address this year’s most pressing challenges. We applaud the tireless work, not just of Team Dow but of our partners and fellow volunteers across the globe. Thank you for dedicating your time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind.