Every December, our employees around the world compete in the Giving Challenge by making donations of both time and treasure to various organizations in our communities. Hear from Ciara, a passionate and charitable software engineer, on why she looks forward to the Giving Challenge each year.
What made you want to get involved in the Giving Challenge?
I love that the Giving Challenge brings DRW employees together with a focus on giving and I was excited to see that this year’s challenge included donating our time at volunteer events. I think that giving back our time and talents to the communities where we live and work is one of the best gifts that we can give. I was also excited to work with my colleagues to make a real impact around the holidays!
How did you get involved?
In addition to donating to Code Platoon and Inspiration Corporation, this year I helped organize several “[Hour of Code](https://hourofcode.com/us "Hour of Code")” volunteer sessions at [DRW College Prep](https://nobleschools.org/drw/ "DRW College Prep").
The [Hour of Code](https://hourofcode.com/us "Hour of Code") is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. The goal of these sessions is to demystify “code,” and to show that anybody can learn the basics.
I love teaching computer science skills to students, and seeing them apply the building blocks we have helped them learn is one of the best parts! Being able to share some of the talents that make DRW employees unique with students at [DRW College Prep](https://nobleschools.org/drw/ "DRW College Prep") made it even more special.
I also wanted to find a way to get more DRW employees involved with the challenge so I helped organize an event where we packed bagged lunches to give to [Sarah's Circle](https://www.sarahs-circle.org/ "Sarah's Circle"), an organization that benefits women in need. Getting my team to come together for a great cause during the holidays really meant a lot to me!
Additionally, picking out presents for kids during the holidays was another highlight of my Giving Challenge experience! It’s a good feeling to know that you helped give a family something special to open at the holidays.
What do you enjoy most about the Giving Challenge?
The Giving Challenge puts ‘giving back’ at the top of everyone's mind. I get to learn about organizations that are important to my colleagues and hear about the volunteering that they do during the holidays and throughout the year. Each participant in the challenge gets a small flag to tape on their monitor at work and I love seeing more and more flags go up in the office as the challenge progresses and participation increases!
What advice would you give someone who might be thinking about volunteering?
Organizations are always looking for people to share their talents and there are many different ways to get involved. Whether it is helping an organization with some technical needs, sharing your artistic skills or reading to kids – I think that the perfect volunteer opportunity is out there for everyone! Reach out to an organization that resonates with you to see if they have a role that fits.