For some this was a time to forge lasting bonds. For some others, it was all about getting up close with reality. Many saw the Global Month of Volunteering, which kicked off on August 15, as a golden opportunity to give back to society. Amazonians across the world, including those in the Selling Partner Support team, pitched in. Jonathan Lee, who leads Worldwide Employee Experience for Selling Partner Support explains that the Selling Partner Support Volunteering Program was launched in 2021 and 4,700 volunteers have contributed 75,000 hours to community work. "Employees pitch for either in-person volunteering or virtual campaigns. While our in-person activities include blood donation drives, volunteering at orphanages, plantation drives, beach clean-ups etc, our virtual initiatives include writing letters for the elderly, validating maps in partnership with the US Red Cross to support disaster relief, and playing trivia to raise funds and fight hunger,” Lee said.
Here are some heartwarming stories of volunteering activities undertaken by Selling Partner Support teams from India to Cairo and Turkey to Costa Rica.
Shelter home visit, donating educational aids
The Virtual Customer Contact teams across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad partnered with Bhumi, an NGO, for an onsite CSR event called KARTAVYA that focused on underprivileged students. 147 volunteers visited local schools/ shelter homes, prepared educational learning aids and donated 190 school bags along with stationary and notebooks, totaling 635 volunteered hours. The experience reminded many of going back to school—the volunteers spent time packing school bags, preparing educational charts and covering notebooks.
A brush with colours
In Pune, Heslee Charles, as SPS Associate said, “helping transform the Maharshi Harka Vidya Mandir school by painting its walls schools was the best decision of my life. I realized this small deed has made such a great impact to many lives.” In Costa Rica, Amazonians visited the Aldeas SOS facilities to paint houses that were in need. Brenda Estrada, an SPS Operations Manager from San Jose, said, “It is not easy to find words to describe what I experienced while volunteering at SOS Children Villages this past week. It was a moving and enriching experience that reminded me how lucky I am, and that human beings can be happy with so little. Also, it allowed me to get in touch with the reality of what underprivileged people encounter daily while being able to interact with children; children that look for love and support.” Marwa Zakaria, an Employee Experience Specialist from Cairo, said she made some precious memories at Egypt's Alwady Orphanage playing with kids, and that she was looking forward to more such opportunities.
Petting a pet
For all pet lovers, the GMV was an ideal phase. Each hour spent with their pet would result in $1 donated to 'Refugio Tierra de Animales' in Costa Rica. And those who did not own a pet went to physical shelters and spent time with pets to support the cause. In Turkey, efforts were made to help stray animals find accessible clean food and drink. Elif Nur Nergiz, a Seller Support Associate from Amazon's Virtual Contact Centre in Turkey said, “If we all do our part, take one cup of water & some food we can make a big difference to an animal's life. Don't forget to take food with you wherever you are going, you never know who will run up to you.”
If we all do our part, take one cup of water & some food we CAN make a big difference to an animal's life. Don't forget to take food with you wherever you are going, you never know who will run up to you.
Different types of donations
From blood donation awareness sessions and fund raising for free rice to distribution of hygiene packs for women in various shelters, the GMV saw many Amazonians give back to society in whichever way they could. SPS Supervisor Giancarlo Lanzoni said, “There is no amount of sun, rain or tiredness that can stop our efforts as Amazonians to do our best work.” Added Josue Astua, an Associate from Virtual Contact Centre from Costa Rica, “I had never participated in volunteering. My motivation was due to an invitation from a colleague who curiously couldn't make it. Fulfilling an objective of helping for the boys of a village for such a noble and humane cause helped me feel a lot of peace myself and camaraderie with others.”