GoogleServe, a chance for Googlers around the world to give back

A few months after I first started working at Google, a colleague asked me to organize a volunteer effort at a school in East Palo Alto. That was my first introduction to GoogleServe, our annual month-long volunteer program, which offers many different ways to give back. My colleagues and I have sorted food at a local homeless shelter, helped NGOs improve their outreach using Google for Nonprofits tech solutions, and helped set up the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s LifeCycle race. In my seven years at Google, I never missed a GoogleServe—I even attended a gardening project at Full Circle Farms two weeks after giving birth to my son Jack. I didn’t do much gardening, but was glad to be there alongside my teammates.

Now, the journey has come full circle. I work with Google.org as its Global Project Manager for GoogleServe and in this role, I have a bird’s eye view of all the amazing ways my colleagues are having an impact. GoogleServe was created 11 years ago, and this June, over 25,000 Googlers from more than 40 countries participated with more than 900 nonprofits.  

GoogleServe is my favorite time to be a Googler, and I’m excited to share a few examples of the magic that has taken place over the past month.

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    Across the U.S., more than 300 Googlers volunteered with local chapters of Goodwill and 4-H, two Google.org supported nonprofits. Goodwill helps millions of Americans expand their digital skills and access career opportunities. This year’s volunteers, including our CEO Sundar Pichai, helped job seekers with mock interviews and resume reviews. With 4-H, the largest youth organization in the country, volunteers staffed computer science activities at summer camps, part of Google.org’s efforts to help young people develop the skills they’ll need for their future.

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    In Germany, Googlers in Berlin helped Berliner Bahnhofsmission in their quest to feed and assist 200 homeless people, handing out food and beverages, preparing and restocking food, cleaning dishes, staffing the entrance, and sorting donated clothes.

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    In Hyderabad, India, Googlers slipped on hair nets, scrubbed cauldrons, sorted rice and cut vegetables to help Akshaya Patra, a nonprofit which works to alleviate childhood hunger through a mid-day meal program.

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    In Canada, almost 90 percent of the Toronto Google office participated in GoogleServe, volunteering with projects like digital skills training withPancreatic Cancer Canada, a visit toCollege Montrose Children’s Place, meal serving atHaven Toronto and aRonald McDonald House board dinner for families. One Googler, Dave Carsley, organized dog adoption from four different shelters where, he’s happy to report, “all participating dogs found a fur-ever home.”

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    Googlers in Lima, Peru welcomed seven graduates from Google.org’s granteeLaboratoria, which trains women to be future leaders in the emerging digital economy.  We integrated the graduates into our Google Peru team for the day, which included joining us for meetings with real clients and agencies.

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    And for those wondering, this year I made up for the gardening I didn’t do a few years ago, by bringing my two-year-old helper along with me.

For more GoogleServe pictures from around the world, check out GoogleServe on Twitter

GoogleServe, a chance for Googlers around the world to give back