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Celebration of Service Day at The Ottawa Mission
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  cos ibm100
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Smiles, sandwiches and workforce skills were on the agenda at today's IBM Celebration of Service event I led at the Ottawa Mission, a shelter dedicated to helping the homeless and those at risk of being homeless. I've been donating my Saturday mornings to the Mission Kitchen for nearly 4 years now, but the Celebration Of Service provided an opportunity to do more.
The IBM Celebration of Service honors our employees, retirees, families and friends in their commitment to volunteer service. It supports their efforts with resources, a program of new and expanded grants, and the opportunity to pledge their participation in a global effort during 2011 — with a special focus on June 15, when IBMers will bring their skills into thousands of communities worldwide.
The Mission prides itself in being "more than a shelter" and provides an extensive program of Client Services designed to help people live independently. It also operates a hospice which just last week celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The day began with Workforce Skills Workshop with materials drawn from the IBM On Demand Community and tailored in collaboration with Mission staff for greater relevance to their Clients. Tracy Harris and Debbie Ng kicked off the workshop with an interactive Q&A session focusing on basic workforce skills and behaviors. From there, Clients divided the remainder of the session working directly with IBM volunteers drawn from the Riverside Campus to build resumes and practice their job interview skills. It was an intense two hours, with volunteers and Clients alike connecting and sharing in a very meaningful way.
At the same time, Chef Ric Watson and his team kept another team of volunteers busy in the kitchen, preparing food for the more than 1,200 meals the Mission serves each day. The afternoon agenda featured two more teams. While in the Dining Room a team of five made upwards of 350 sandwiches to be distributed to Clients, six more volunteers sorted through a massive mound of clothing donations.
That tomorrow IBM begins its second century in business is truly remarkable. Equally remarkable is the century-long history of the Ottawa Mission. And in the same way that the Mission is "more than a shelter," today's Celebration of Service events demonstrate that IBM is truly more than a technology company. That today's event was such a success showed that positive change can indeed happen when organizations - and the people who drive them - work together with a common goal in mind.
At the Ottawa Mission, I would like to thank Diane Morrison, Executive Director; Meghan Adams, Manager of Volunteer Services; Virginia Hodgson, Training Program Supervisor; Marianna Vakopoulos, Education Coordinator; Hayat Khefifi, Employment & Education and Shirley Roy, Community & Media Relations Manager.