Belden Solutions Marketing Manager Calvin Bow helps clean up a river in Singapore as part of his participation with WWS.
In 2020, Belden introduced Connect with Community, allowing employees to give back to their communities and make a difference to the people around them. All employees are given up to five days of paid leave for the purpose of volunteering with qualified charitable organizations. To date, hundreds of employees around the world have taken part, individually or as part of a team. Below are four examples of employees making a difference.
Brian January, a Belden IT manager based in the Indianapolis, Indiana office, started volunteering for Operation: Job Ready Veterans (OJRV) in the beginning of 2020 just as the pandemic was intensifying. “I sought skilled-based opportunities to give back to the community. I volunteered my time as a salesforce administrator, helping manage the organization’s workflow on client progress, seminar attendance, grant donation requests, endowment reporting and supportive service cost allocations.”
OJRV, a Midwest-based nonprofit organization, provides veterans, service members, their families and their communities transitional, career development and employment services. It offers services across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Wisconsin. In 2020, it helped attain employment for 573 veterans (10 of which were homeless) and 306 so far in 2021, an amazing accomplishment during a global pandemic “Assisting (them) with their salesforce optimization has been the perfect opportunity for me to help our nation’s veterans while simultaneously keeping my finger on the pulse of technology, a true win-win,” said January, who described his contribution as “truly humbling and gratifying.”
In October, a Belden team in Venlo, Netherlands, hosted their first Connect with Community week. Over 70 volunteers participated. Some activities included renovating a children’s petting zoo, cleaning the Maas River and volunteering at several local retirement homes, allowing some of the elderly to go outside for a walk or bicycle ride.
In honor of Belden’s 120-year anniversary, the Venlo team also raised funds and donated 120 food crates to the local food bank, Venlo Voedselbank. Belden President and CEO Roel Vestjens presented the crates of food and a check for €3,800. “It was rewarding to see employees from our production plant, distribution center and office come together to support these great causes. We really do succeed together through teamwork,” said Franziska Fehring, talent management specialist.
Calvin Bow, a Belden solutions marketing manager, has been volunteering with Waterways Watch Society (WWS) for more than five years. The non-governmental, nonprofit organization fosters appreciation and promotes conservation of the environment, especially the waterways in Singapore. Established in 1998, WWS has some 500 volunteers, ranging between ages 5-80 years old. They patrol the Singapore, Kallang and Geylang rivers on boats to fish out litter to ensure the waterways are clean and safe for all to enjoy. Over the years, WWS has grown to include patrols on bicycles, kayaks and pedal-boats.
“I have been volunteering with WWS to help educate the public on how littering upstream can affect water quality when it reaches reservoirs,” said Bow. “I am the skipper/ leader for the boat patrol and the land cyclist patrol and volunteer my time as part of the kayak patrol team.” He was also appointed a Community Volunteer Leader (CVL) by the National Environmental Agency (NEA) and the Public Utility Board (PUB). Both government bodies protect the environment and our water resources.”
“I volunteer with the WWS because it’s an amazing organization with a strong mission statement,” Bow said. “I also wanted to contribute with skills I have acquired through my life. I have my keel/boat skipper license, am a certified first-aider and also have a one-star kayak certificate. I appreciate how Belden recognizes and encourages employees volunteering in their communities.”
As part of the Connect with Community program, the Belden team in Singapore launched a corporate volunteer partnership with Food from the Heart. Belden employees helped with logistics by processing and packing donated food items at the warehouse. Employees from the Singapore facility filled 143 bags with rice, noodles, canned food, biscuits and other dry food for distribution to local families in need. To date, Belden associates have packed a total of 543 bags of food and donated a large number of items.
“It was really fun to have our colleagues come together for a great cause. It feels good to know that the work we are doing is making a positive impact on our community,” said HR Manager Mandy Hui.
Manufacturers GIVING BACK
This is part 9 of Wire Journal International's first-ever feature presenting 16 manufacturers that have given back to their communities: hundreds others could just as easily have been here. Each entry has a unique story, yet the common thread is the people—of all ranks—who care about their companies as well as their communities. Big volunteer efforts deserve applause, but so do smaller ones as they all head in the same direction. In a time when there is seldom a lack of daunting news, one can take pride in the industry spirit.
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Looking for other parts of this feature series?
Hitachi Cable America (now Proterial Cable America), Viakable, Acme Wire Products, High-Performance Conductors (HPC), Kris-Tech, Allied Wire, Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc., Cerrowire, Belden, Fort Wayne Metals, Optimus Steel, Prysmian, Minnesota Wire, Southwire, Service Wire, Alloy Wire International
> Employer alert! Volunteers make for a better workforce.
> How can a small business start a ‘giving back’ program?