Globally, our employees contribute to their communities in diverse ways year-round, supporting education, the environment, and financial health. In 2020, volunteering shifted from in-person projects to initiatives employees could do safely from home. Partnering with nonprofits to advance racial justice and opportunity and respond to COVID-19 was a focus. Guided by our purpose and motivated by a commitment to make a difference, we reported more volunteers than in 2019.
Volunteering With Purpose: 90 Days of Giving
In MetLife’s first global virtual volunteer initiative, employees lived our purpose by volunteering for projects focused on helping vulnerable children, families, and communities. MetLife Foundation donated to four nonprofits—Together We Rise, Save the Children, Helping Hands, and Special Olympics—which offered simple, hands-on volunteer projects that employees could do safely from home, often with their family. Nearly 10,000 employees in 39 markets volunteered, making Volunteering with Purpose MetLife’s largest volunteer effort to date. Some snapshots:
U.S.: First-Night Kits for Kids in Foster Care With Together We Rise
When a child enters the U.S. foster care system for the first time or moves from home to home, they are often handed a trash bag to pack their possessions. MetLife Foundation made a donation to nonprofit Together We Rise, which provided duffle bags filled with supplies to replace these garbage bags. MetLife volunteers added their creativity by decorating the bag’s panels with special pictures and encouraging messages—all to help transform the way thousands of kids experience foster care.
Global: Writing Virtual Letters With Save the Children
Immediate and long-term threats of COVID-19 will likely impact an entire generation, and the poorest and most marginalized communities were among the hardest hit. Save the Children supplied medical and hygiene supplies and preparedness training to help prevent the spread of infection in such communities worldwide. MetLife Foundation’s donation helped them continue this work. In addition, MetLife volunteers wrote letters—in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic—to bring encouragement—and a smile—to children in these communities. Mexico led all countries in the campaign, with volunteers writing almost 700 letters for Save the Children’s Yucatan program.
Asia and EMEA: Assembling Sports Backpacks and Building Prosthetics
When the pandemic forced the closure of schools and facilities, it also halted in-person Special Olympics programming for Young Athletes, children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With many families lacking access to technology, MetLife partnered with Special Olympics to create athletic backpacks with tools to engage Young Athletes and resources for their parents to support their children’s health and well-being during the pandemic. Volunteers assembled the kits, often creating inspirational messages and cheerful drawings for the children. Employees also volunteered for the Odyssey Teams Helping Hands program, assembling prosthetic hands and decorating carrying cases for amputees living in developing countries.