In April 2019, Andy Jassy, Amazon’s CEO, announced plans for the company’s first ever Global Month of Volunteering, where Amazonians volunteer simultaneously over the course of a month aiming to reach 75,000 volunteers all over the world. Amit Agarwal, SVP - India & Emerging Markets encouraged Amazonians to give back to the community by setting an example with his own volunteering work. The Global Month of Volunteering In India was kickstarted by Amazon India on 15 August, 2022 to offer volunteering opportunities for 100,000+ Amazonians across the country.
Coinciding with India’s 75th anniversary of independence, Amazon India unveiled its flagship GMV anthem titled Neki Kar (Do Good) to mark GMV’s launch, encouraging Amazonians to volunteer. Composed by the award-winning musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the song urged people to contribute in their preferred way and come together to do their bit for a better India.
Participating in GMV has been one of my most gratifying experiences of the year. Isn’t it wonderful to able feed the needy by just walking and also getting fit in the process (#digithon) or reliving your childhood dreams by painting a colourful butterfly on a school wall (#TransformASchool)? Super proud to be able to give back to my community
Partnering with 15+ non-profit community organisations to curate impactful volunteer opportunities, the program reached Amazon employees across India with physical events in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Coimbatore, and Bengaluru. Ranging from tree plantation and clean-up drives, to recording audiobooks, transforming schools, to mentoring students from underprivileged backgrounds, and much more, Amazonians showed up in large numbers to make a difference.
GMV was volunteers’ time to give back, often along with their families. Many felt by giving back they gained a lot, be it perspective or meaning. Amazonians volunteered in schools, localities, office premises, or the outskirts of the city, wherever the community needed them to be. The Global Month of Volunteering 2022 concluded on 16 September, 2022, with 78+ events and 15,500+ volunteer sign ups.
Here’s a glimpse of how the Global Month of Volunteering unfolded.
When it came to volunteering for a cleaner and greener world, GMV volunteers contributed wholeheartedly, picking up 640 kgs of waste and planting 23,000+ trees. #GreenWarrior events included Seedball Making and Plant for Tomorrow across various cities. At the seedball making events, Amazonians made over 36,000+ seedballs ready for plantation. Amazonians also participated enthusiastically in tree plantation events to plant over 500+ trees and saplings, helping make cities greener. Several clean-up drives were organised such as beach clean-ups in Chennai, plog-a-thon trail walks around Bengaluru, and a lake-side clean-up drive in Delhi. Popular actress Shivani Narayanan joined in Chennai to help make the seaside plastic-free. The constant showers couldn't dampen the Amazonian spirit, as several senior leaders volunteered along with their teams in many cities (more information here and here). Over 400 Amazonians hiked along the trails at Skandagiri, Makalidurga, and Hariharabetta in Bengaluru–with help from our partner India Hikes–picking up plastic waste and creating memories along the way.
Education is a cause many Amazonians are passionate about, impacting 130+ schools and donating 25,000+ school kits during GMV. Hundreds of Amazonians, including senior leaders with their teams (see more here and here), came together for #TransformASchool events across cities in partnership with Connect For, to provide a brighter and cheerful learning environment for children in schools and shelter homes. Celebrities like Robin Uthappa, Rannvijay Singha, and Nivetha Pethuraj also joined hands with Amazonians to transform schools. Further, several class chats were organised by leaders (see here and here), engaging in a spirited conversation around careers with students of government schools.
Over the course of the Global Month of Volunteering, Amazonians assembled over 300 DIY solar lamps both physically and virtually to deliver to underprivileged homes following disasters, with the support of our NGO partner, Way for Life. Amazonians also packed ration kits in partnership with DonateKart (which included essential food items like rice, pulses, wheat flour, spices, and more) in three cities. They packed 24,000+ ration kits (~97500+ meals) to help families impacted by floods in several cities.
Apart from these, GMV 2022 also hosted a range of virtual events where Amazonians were able to make an impact, irrespective of their physical presence. The virtual marathon–or Digithon–attracted 2000+ Amazonians who ran for a cause, contributing 20,000+ meals, 1100+ trees, and 2,500+ school kits. Amazonians also participated in Create Learning Cards, Fun with Crosswords, Lend a Voice, and Mentor for Tomorrow events to help children in various schools and shelter homes.
As we wrap up this year’s Global Month of Volunteering, we would like to thank our leaders, volunteers, organising and support teams, and most importantly our non-profit partners and communities, who came together to celebrate GMV on a grand scale. We look forward to up the ante with more events, more fun, and more impact over the next year.