It’s been said that “when you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence.” Indeed. Points of Light corporate partners consistently and admirably demonstrate that thinking – all the time.
This Global Volunteer Month we’re pleased to recognize a few that have gone above and beyond, especially in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. One partner that comes to mind is financial services firm Fidelity Investments.
The pandemic is a health crisis. What follows is an economic one. This is where Fidelity’s contributions to communities stand to make a critical difference. The company is mobilizing in two important ways.
First, it is encouraging its people and its partner businesses to contribute their time, talent and dollars to those most impacted by the crisis. Over the years, the company has made massive contributions toward improving financial literacy – engaging its team members to help students and young adults learn about their finances and about how to build stable futures. The same model is in place around its response to the pandemic: organizing teams of skills-based volunteers to help communities.
This ranges from helping to ensure nonprofits can survive the crisis operationally, to ensuring the programs in place prior to it, can continue.
Second, Fidelity is supporting community and employee giving through Fidelity Charitable, and its Donor-Advised Funds, that focus on three key areas: supporting medical needs, protecting vulnerable populations and sustaining all non-profits.
Recognizing that disaster relief often occurs in four phases (triage, stabilization, rebuilding and risk management) and that for the next several months, much of the world will be in the “triage” phase, Fidelity has also put a sharp focus on the immediate needs of communities through various established channels and relationships.
For example, Fidelity partnered with collaborative online learning provider NovoEd to transition its scheduled, in-person financial literacy teacher training events to virtual learning experiences. The company is working with Feeding America partners to ensure students at its “adopted schools,” youth organizations and other financial literacy partners to ensure students have meals while they are unable to access them at school. Fidelity also donated 120 reclaimed iPads to K-12 students in two school districts in Rhode Island so they could participate in their schools’ distance learning programs. When schools re-open, both districts plan to use the iPads school-wide to support technology proficiency goals.
In addition to being Global Volunteer Month, April is also Financial Literacy Month – an entire month focused on bringing attention to an issue very important to Fidelity. Though the company cannot host its planned in-person teacher trainings, it is now working with the North Carolina Council on Economic Education (NCCEE) to host a virtual financial literacy teacher training for North Carolina educators – ensuring that the pandemic doesn’t pause this important initiative for teachers and students alike.
Fidelity is living the “building a bigger table” philosophy by, first, giving back as company and, second, by encouraging their employees to get involved too – around COVID-19 and as part of its overall approach to service. This Global Volunteer Month, this is exactly the type of corporate citizenship we’re celebrating – and we’re working to see more of it in communities around the world!
To learn more about any of these initiatives or to learn more about Points of Light and Global Volunteer Month, please visit: https://www.pointsoflight.org/global-volunteer-month/