“Injustice prevails where hopelessness persists,” said Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson at a conference years ago. In the audience, the message resonated with talent professional Megan Sweeney.
She became a supporter of the program, which works to end mass incarceration and racial injustice, and took inspiration in her own social giving. When Megan joined OSIsoft, she knew she had found a company committed to the same values.
For 40 years, OSIsoft has been investing in its local and global communities. We believe that our social responsibility also extends to empowering our people to support their personal passions and causes. That's why OSIsoft employees enjoy three days of paid volunteer leave every year, and company matching funds to double the impact of their charitable giving.
This year we wanted to take that spirit of giving to the next level. COVID-19 has brought a lot of added change and hardship, and we recognized that non-profits need our help now more than ever, that's why this year, we were thrilled to announce a first ever company-wide Day of Giving.
The Day of Giving is a 24-hour initiative in which we set a goal for employee charitable contributions, which the company matched. Employees could choose any charity (or several) and had the option to share why it was important to them.
We were quickly impressed with the enthusiasm, generosity (22% ahead of our $70,000 goal!) and passion that people shared. Here are just a few examples:
Penn State Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
As a proud Penn State alumnus, I am involved closely with two organizations focused on supporting LGBTQ students. I became aware of the first organization, the Penn State Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, about 10 years ago while on a recruiting trip for OSIsoft. The Center staff work to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students at Penn State. As a student in the 80's there was not a Center or any resources for LGBT students. The only support came from trusted friends or your “closet”. My role at OSI affords me the time and opportunity to prepare these students for career fairs by conducting resume reviews, interview prep, and career mentoring. Another organization I support is Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM). The mission of oSTEM is to empower LGBTQ+ people in STEM. My original connection with oSTEM dates back to 2013 when I attended their 3rd National Conference at the Google office in New York. By chance I ran into one of our OSIsoft customers and spent time talking with him and his wife. They had brought their son who was being home-schooled for safety reasons because they wanted their son to have some sense of community. The impact of their attendance was not missed by anyone; especially the students without that support from their own homes.
- Barry James, Philadelphia office
Equal Justice Initiative
My birthday fundraiser this year went to the Equal Justice Initiative, they provide legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons - the statistics around wrongful convictions is alarming. The deep-rooted systemic changes that must be made in our country to see justice and equality for everyone are massive and overwhelming, and yet that must not stop us from the work it will take to get there. Contributions to an organization like EJI is one way that I can see movement towards that vision on a larger scale. I had the privilege to hear Bryan Stevenson speak at a conference years ago, his message stayed with me and I continue to call on that message through the work that I do. It's a message of hope. He says, "injustice prevails where hopelessness persists." We must not give up on standing up and speaking out when we see injustices occurring. As a society, we have a large road ahead of us towards equality and we all play a role. I will do my part by continuing to learn, listen, speak up, and stand up for injustices that I see around me, and support organizations like Equal Justice Initiative who strive towards justice and equality for all.
-Megan Sweeney, San Leandro office
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital
I got to know Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital through a friend who has been a volunteer since 2017. The hospital objective is to provide healthcare services to the needy people within the Singapore community. Even today, they strive to make their services as affordable as possible despite the increasing operating expenses in Singapore. They rely on the generosity of donators to continue providing affordable healthcare services to the less privileged because every life deserves the best. They need all the support and every cent counts in making a little go a long way towards improving the lives of their patients.
-Chris Ng, Singapore office
I donate to Give Directly because I want my donations to be used in the most effective way possible. When doing charity work internationally, it's common for charities to push money into campaigns and initiatives that aren't really targeting the right areas that are needed by local communities. Give Directly is different, in that it simply gives cash to individuals in a community, no strings attached. This promotes economic growth in the local community as they tend to invest and spend with local businesses or purchase items or medicines that they desperately need.
- Learning Manager, Perth office
With the coming of the shelter in place order due to COVID-19 in Argentina, starting in mid-March this year, we started to hear stories from different organizations in our small community facing economic problems due to the restrictions on their activities or even the need to close their doors due to the pandemic. This was the case of the “Taller Manos Magicas” - APAD, a non-profit organization that helps people with Down syndrome to develop themselves and gives them a way of generating incomes by cooking mostly pastry and selling it in our community. As they had to close their doors they were going through a really hard time and were not even able to pay their utility bills.
- David Lazcano, Argentina Office
To add to the employee donations and matched funds, we also made two large lump-sum donations to the two most popular charities, as voted by employee donations. Equal Justice Initiative (described above) and Food for the Poor, which works to provide food, medicine, and shelter to the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean both received additional funds from OSIsoft.
From our San Leandro HQ to our offices around the world, OSIsoft is proud to play an active role in the communities where we live and work. We envision a world in which all people feel welcomed, respected, supported, and celebrated, and we will continue to do the work necessary to make that world a reality.