By Deborah Patterson
What is a volunteer? To me, a volunteer is someone who gives of themselves to benefit others and their community. Volunteerism is a core value at Monsanto Company; senior leaders, managers, employees all find the time to give back to their community. My team has the privilege of supporting our volunteers by connecting them to issues that they are passionate about, assisting with coordinating group volunteer activities, and providing service grants to the organizations where our employees donate their time.. Our volunteer program is named Monsanto Together because working together with the community we can impact positive change to fulfill our commitment to leave our communities better than we found them.
In 2013 our Monsanto Together volunteer program generated $428,500 service grants to organizations where our employees donated their time. Also in 2013 our employees served more than 80,839 volunteer hours. Since June 2010 we have contributed close to$1 million in service grants and our employees have logged more than 175,000 hours!
This week is a special week dedicated to celebrating the good work of volunteers across the country – it is National Volunteer Week in the United States. Monsanto is hosting our annual volunteer recognition ceremony to honor the employees who donate their time to people and programs in their communities. Impressively, we have 182 Presidential Service Award recipients this year. Each person receiving this award personally gave over 100 hours of their time to causes they believe in during 2013.
Today we are also thrilled to announce our support of the St. Louis Serves campaign, a key platform of the stl250 effort to celebrate our city’s 250th birthday. The St. Louis Serves campaign is promoting action through volunteerism by highlighting and expanding the philanthropic spirit of the St. Louis region. stl250 is striving for one million volunteer hours from 250,000 volunteers through the end of 2014. Working with the United Way of Greater St. Louis and AmeriCorps St. Louis we will work to achieve this goal alongside stl250. Today, Monsanto is committing to 50,000 hours toward this goal! Please visit the St. Louis Serves website to learn more about signing up for projects and registering your group’s efforts. We can’t hit one million hours if you don’t sign up!
I am proud and humbled by the commitment of Monsanto people to volunteerism. Thank you so much for all you do to improve the communities where we operate and where our farmer customers live. And thank you to volunteers around the globe – we celebrate you this week!