Public spiritedness and service to the community are a way of life with the Viacom Entertainment Group’s Give A Sh*t committee, which supports year-round programs to channel employees’ commitment to helping their neighbors in the New York area.
In March 2012, a group of celebrities entertained Viacom employees — and supported students in New York City public schools — by playing Match Game ’12. Hosted by Matt Oberg of Ugly Americans and Onion SportsDome, the show at the Highline Ballroom featured star panelists such as Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Kristen Schaal of Flight of the Conchords and Bob’s Burgers, and Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers. Contestants chosen from the audience were brought onstage to answer fill-in-the-blank questions, winning prizes when their responses matched those given by the panelists. The stars also auctioned off shared moments and personal effects (such as photos with Kristen Schaal for $500 and Seth Meyers’ MetroCards for $375).
With Viacom matching all ticket sales and auction donations, Match Game ’12 raised $23,000 for 826NYC, a local nonprofit supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills and helping teachers inspire their students to write.
In addition, the audience broke the record for the most Charles Nelson Reilly look-alikes in one room, as was announced by recordsetter.com at the end of the evening.
In July, employees came to the aid of more students with First Day of Cool, an initiative to support children living in New York City shelters. The program raised enough money to provide new clothing and supplies for 200 kids for the upcoming school year.
And in December, employees bought some of their holiday gifts from local artisans at the Merry Market. Ten percent of sales were donated to Modest Needs, a nonprofit whose work includes Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.