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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Monsanto Organizes Employees’ Passion for Volunteering

Monsanto employees help clean up St. Louis communities devasted by a tornado

By Sara Duncan

Monsanto employees have a long history of volunteer work. Recently, a Monsanto team created a program that makes it easier for employees to get involved in communities where we do business—Monsantogether.

Monsantogether hosts a website where employees can learn about local organizations that need volunteers, using a variety of search criteria including the types of services offered by each organization and where they are headquartered. Employees can also use the website to organize team-based service projects and search for projects organized by others. After each volunteer event, employees are asked to input volunteer hours on the website.

Prior to this program, there was no way for employees to track their volunteer hours. When an employee has accumulated 20 volunteer hours at one organization, they can request a $250 grant for that organization. Team-based grants are also available for teams that accumulate more than 20 hours of service.

“This really is an employee-centered program,” Lionel Morgan, Monsanto human resources, law and corporate affairs IT lead, said. “Every employee can use their energy and passion to assist important causes in our communities. This program allows colleagues to learn about local opportunities and form teams to achieve a broader community impact than can be accomplished by individuals working alone.”

Since the program was launched in June of 2010 in the United States, sections of South America, and Canada and October 2010 in Brazil, more than 16,000 hours have been accumulated in the system; 70 percent were logged by individuals and 30 percent logged by teams. More than 1,000 projects have been organized by more than 1,000 employees with over 300 organizations benefiting from volunteer service.

“It has been useful and eye-opening to be able to keep track of my volunteer hours through the Monsantogether website,” Jana Kennedy, Monsanto global indirect procurement lead, said. Kennedy is a Monsantogether Top 20 Volunteer. “It’s motivating and rewarding to be able to convert those hours spent into grant money for the organizations I support. When I first came to Monsanto (and St. Louis) I struggled to find volunteer opportunities where I felt I was really making a meaningful contribution. It’s great that Monsantogether is now available as a resource to help other employees find those meaningful opportunities to give back.”

A group of 17 employees in Canada led a service project renovating and painting the home of an elderly couple for the Take Pride Winnipeg organization.

“The Monsanto team worked very hard at their home,” Tom Ethans, executive director for Take Pride Winnipeg, said.

“On paint day, they were there in full force with a very energetic group of employees. They also planted flowers in the front garden and made sure that the yard was litter-free before they left. Monsanto helped to instill community pride; one of Take Pride Winnipeg’s main missions.

Video of tornado cleanup on May 9, 2011

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