The spirit of Viacommunity is in everything that we do day in and day out, behind the camera and on our screens. But there’s one day a year when it’s our main focus — Viacommunity Day, when employees at our offices worldwide step away from their desks, roll up their sleeves and do some good.
In 2012, we wanted to make Viacommunity Day our biggest ever. We wanted to involve even more members of the Viacommunity in more projects in more places around the globe. And we wanted, for the first time, to be able to share our stories as they happened.
Viacommunity Day 2012, on April 20, turned out to be our best yet, with almost 5,000 employees working with 144 partner organizations in 17 U.S. cities and 26 countries. Here in the United States, employee participation rose by almost 25 percent.
From renovation projects to helping children and AIDS patients, Viacommunity members volunteered on a wide range of efforts. Employees worked as mentors and teachers, served the elderly and less fortunate, built and beautified public spaces and contributed to wildlife preservation projects. Many chose to share their career expertise — for example, volunteers from our production departments went to Reel Works, a teen filmmaking program in New York City, to help students with video production and editing.
Other partners included Literacy Inc., Urban Arts Partnership, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, Soaringwords, Food Bank For New York City, City Harvest, Central Park Conservancy, the Inner City Scholarship Fund at the American Museum of Natural History, Project Sunshine and many more organizations around the world.
On Viacommunity Day 2012, 5,000 employees worked with 144 partner organizations in 17 American cities and 26 countries.
The launch of a Viacommunity Day hashtag made the day even more successful. Using the hashtag #Viacommunity, our far-flung employees shared stories and images of their work with one another, helping deepen engagement and inspiring their colleagues. And since we wanted their tweets to motivate people outside the company too, we posted them — more than 1,500 in all — in real time on our electronic billboard in Times Square.
The tweets were short and sweet, but they said a lot. @i_am_michaelnyc tweeted: “Covered in paint. Great day giving back to my community. #viacommunity @tkylemac @MattyDeP1.” And @Tweetpimenta tweeted: “Here in Brazil we’ve spent our time with some wonderful needy kids. #viacommunity.”
Partner organizations also joined the conversation. @AIDFORAIDSINTL tweeted “@Viacom’s Volunteer squad in action at @AIDFORAIDSINTL today! Thank you! #viacommunity helps #HIV.” The award-winning campaign helped employees and organizations around the world connect on a whole new level.
Viacommunity Day isn’t an end in itself. It’s a start to a new year of involvement, a way for employees to find new and rewarding interests and to deepen their commitment to others. And it works. “Viacommunity Day ROCKED!! The kids are still talking about it,” said Mari Irizarry of Reel Works. “We really appreciated the input that each individual brought to the table and we look forward to working with them. In fact, almost everyone who came from Viacom expressed an interest in volunteering down the line with us.”