This year, P&G and approximately 1,500 of its employees have partnered with United Way, Cincinnati Preschool Promise, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) and several United Way agency partners for their annual Give Back Days effort. This is the first time all P&G business units have partnered on Give Back Days.
With each P&G employee given eight hours of paid volunteer time per year, Give Back Days are a tremendous opportunity for employees to utilize those hours in an impactful way in our community. Beginning in late August and running through early October, P&G employees volunteered at 46 different events as part of the Give Back Days program, all tied to two of United Way’s focus areas: poverty and early childhood education.
Activities included classroom improvements, harvesting food for food pantries, serving food, making literacy kits for local students, beautification of buildings and grounds, interacting with students and many more related to poverty and early childhood education.
“United Way is so grateful of P&G’s support every year, and that is no more evident than through their Give Back Days events,” said Chris Martin, senior vice president and chief development officer, United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “In just over a month, they made a direct impact on our community in so many ways to help lift families and children out of poverty.”
P&G volunteers worked to improve and beautify multiple Cincinnati Preschool Promise sites, including Cincinnati Hebrew Day School, Waterlily Learning Center, and Wesley Education Center to provide a better learning environment for children in an effort to support sites that are actively pursuing their quality rating of 3, 4, or 5-stars through Ohio’s Step Up To Quality rating system.
They also participated in multiple events to assemble literacy kits, which are designed to make reading fun and help prepare children with specific skills such as letter recognition, and including props to make it engaging and fun.
"The results of increased emphasis on volunteering through our Give Back Days has far exceeded our very high expectations," said Tom MacVittie, Director -- Global Innovation -- Beauty Sector at P&G. "We set out to make a transformational impact on our community by focusing our volunteer efforts on a few critical opportunities – poverty and early childhood organization. Our total of over 1,500 volunteer hours is more than three times last year, and the impact that we have made together with our United Way leaders and agencies is so heart warming. This is the beginning of a powerful journey that will grow in impact every year."
On September 8, more than 100 volunteers from P&G’s Feminine Care group held a United Way fair for 166 7th and 8th grade girls from eight different CPS schools as part of their #LikeAGirl campaign to boost girls’ confidence by encouraging them to embrace failure as fuel to build confidence and keep going #LikeAGirl.
The girls enjoyed learning about Always pads, careers at P&G, yoga and meditation, and why it is important to try, fail and learn. The volunteers helped build confidence in the girls, bringing Fem Care’s mission to “empower and advocate for women” to life.
One of the more unique volunteer opportunities was an all-day hackathon to explore solutions for families facing poverty facilitated by P&G’s Consumer Market Knowledge and Human Insights teams. United Way and P&G worked together to come up with challenge areas related to poverty while overlapping with P&G capabilities or business units. An initial list of 40 ideas was narrowed to four challenge areas for six teams to work on:
• Access to laundry services – thinking about how important clean clothes are to employment and education
• Access to non-food items, such as household and personal products that aren’t covered by SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps)
• Healthy homes – mitigating health risks in homes
• Stigma facing families in poverty and how it can be tied to P&G branding and advertising campaigns
Mike Baker, community impact director for United Way, leads United Way’s innovation work and was very encouraged with the results from the hackathon.
“One of the successes of the event was that the participants developed an understanding of the issues surrounding poverty while interacting with and learning from experts,” said Baker. “It wasn’t just poverty statistics, but looking at what it’s like for families to struggle to obtain personal items, and live in healthy homes, and do basic things like laundry, which so many people take for granted. I think what was really great about this was that it showed how important the different skills, expertise and perspectives are. Poverty is not an issue that can be tackled by any single organization or sector, but one that will take a collective effort from our entire community.”
One idea in the area of access to laundry services was using P&G’s expertise in consumer research and testing solutions, citing an example of using their Loads of Hope van to travel to different neighborhoods and test out what the real capacity needs are around laundry in specific neighborhoods to better understand, and ultimately help build out plans about laundry logistics in each neighborhood.
“I loved that they said ‘We don’t know what the answer is, but we’re an organization that can help you get to the answer,’ which was awesome. That kind of support and capability could help us find better solutions going forward,” said Baker.
Thank you to P&G for their support through their Give Back Days, and for helping United Way create a community where everyone has an opportunity to thrive!