At Citrix Online (www.citrixonline.com)-a worldwide software company based in Santa Barbara-employees are allowed one “volunteer day” per year to dedicate to a nonprofit organization of their choosing. In 2008 alone, 148 employees spent a paid day of their workweek fulfilling needs and requirements that went well beyond their official job descriptions.
For instance, Matthew Brooke, software engineering manager, spent a Tuesday planting trees and grasses at Coal Oil Point Reserve; Gretchen Nemechek, product marketing manager, picked up trash at an Isla Vista beach. Over the last year, employees have selflessly lent their time and energy to a range of organizations, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County (www.foodbanksbc.org), Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org), the Red Cross (www.redcross.org), the Surfrider Foundation (www.surfrider.org), and the Audubon Society (www.audubon.org).
Thus far, community response to the Volunteer Day program has been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. Diane Hadighi, community relations manager at Foodbank Santa Barbara County, expressed her delight and appreciation for the efforts the volunteers. “Citrix employees worked more than 100 hours at the Foodbank over the holiday season. We were so grateful – every employee showed up on time and worked diligently – some would not even take a break,” she said in a recent press release.
Ken Palley, executive committee member of Surfrider Foundation, seemed equally as enthused in a recent statement: “I have worked with Citrix Online volunteers for the past few years and they are among the most enthusiastic and hard-working group we get at our beach cleanups. If we had more socially responsible corporations like Citrix Online, we could solve our environmental problems in short order.”