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Bridging Around the World: How Do You Do Good?

Have you ever given to a charity and wondered, “How much impact can this donation really make?"

For organizations such as the Akshaya Patra Foundation—which provides nutritious, locally sourced midday meals to 1.6 million Indian children each day—the answer is quite a bit. In fact, the organization can feed two children a midday meal for an entire year for just US$28. Last year, thanks to a number of passionate employees, Cisco India raised enough money to feed 25,000 children for a full year.

A healthy meal keeps these students focused and ready to learn
Cisco employees in Bangalore kick off the annual giving season with a celebration

And we are off to a great start this year: In just the first three days of our Annual Giving Campaign, 215 Cisco India employees pledged US$27,000, which will receive dollar-for-dollar matching funds from the Cisco Foundation. This is an amazing example of Our People Deal benefiting everyone.

"Be it through our time or our money, each one of us can impact a life," says VC Gopalratnam, SVP, IT, Cisco India. "Being our signature annual campaign, the Annual Giving Campaign is an ideal time to make a pledge and create a positive change in our local community for a cause that we feel most passionate about."

Supporting Santa in the UK & Ireland

Being in the hospital can be scary, especially for children. And what if the child’s visit happens during the Christmas holidays? How can Santa keep the magic alive and deliver a present to each boy and girl?

Enter Cisco UK & Ireland’s Connected Santa initiative. In its eleventh year, the program lifts the spirits of hospitalized children, especially those from families who cannot afford presents during the holiday season.

Christmas came early to children at Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales when Santa embraced the power of digital technology.
Cisco employee elves connecting Santa to Children at Leeds hospital using Cisco TelePresence.

Here’s how Connected Santa works: Kids from selected children’s hospitals get to enjoy a one-to-one chat with Santa Claus from his grotto at the North Pole (our Bedfont Lakes facility), using TelePresence and a DX80 videoconferencing display. Our "undercover elves" secretly share information about the kids via Spark so the jolly old boss is “in the know” about each child. After they connect with Santa, each child receives a present, through employee donations.

In addition to donating gifts for the hospitalized children, employees can now volunteer to be Mrs. Claus, a technical elf in the hospital or a “Santa sitter” in Bedfont Lakes.

For more information on donating or volunteering, visit the Connected Santa initiative on Jive.

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