Wednesday, October 08, 2008

IBM Employee Charitable Giving Begins in Olympic Style

RALEIGH, N. C. — At IBM's largest employee site in the United States, Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones hopes to begin another gold-winning relay team with employees as the company begins its nationwide annual Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign (ECCC).

Jones will be speaking to Raleigh-based employees on Wednesday, Oct. 1 as part of The Cullen Jones Diversity Tour/Make a Splash, aimed to prevent drowning and encourage swimming among minorities. IBM is a sponsor of the Diversity Tour.

"It's estimated that 60 percent of minorities do not know how to swim," said Jones. "The Make a Splash non profit is trying to change that by teaching children and adults a life-saving skill."

Over the last five years, IBM employees nationwide have contributed nearly $170 million to their non-profits of choice as part of the ECCC. The ECCC is a voluntary, employee-driven fund-raising event that offers IBM employees the opportunity to contribute to non-profits. Make a Splash, a program of the USA Swimming Foundation, is now one of more than 4,500 non-profits IBM employees can contribute to.

"Helping to make a difference in the lives of people where we work and live is a large part of what it means to be an IBM employee," said Bob Greenberg, IBM senior state executive for North Carolina.

In North Carolina, IBM employees contributed nearly $3 million as part of the ECCC last year. More than 4,900 IBM employees and retirees in the state take part in the company's corporate volunteer program, contributing more than 460,000 volunteer hours to date this year alone.

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