Zebra's Season of Giving logo
By Therese Van Ryne | February 04, 2021

Celebrating the Season of Giving by Giving Where It’s Needed Most

Our annual Season of Giving took on a new meaning in 2020 with the percentage of people requiring essential services globally rising significantly.

During the holidays, we are often reminded of the importance of giving back to people less fortunate than ourselves and feel compelled to go above and beyond to support the communities in which we live and work. Zebra’s Philanthropy and Volunteer Network marks this time as our Season of Giving.

However, Zebras have been providing aid in the areas where it’s needed most throughout the pandemic for months now, stepping up to support local community organizations that deliver food, shelter, education, disaster relief, healthcare and much more. That is why our 2020-2021 Season of Giving – which technically ran from November through January – was an extension of our ongoing philanthropic support globally. We wanted to keep the momentum going and continue to provide help where it was needed most.

Here are some of the ways Zebra Nation stepped up to bring comfort and joy to others:

Ensuring There Were Meals on the Table and Roofs Overhead

Throughout November and December, Zebra employees volunteered with and donated to food banks and homeless shelters, including the One Can Trust in Bourne End, U.K., Feed My Starving Children and the Itasca Food Pantry in Illinois, U.S., and Luv Preston in Preston, U.K.

In Canada, Illinois and New York, teams of Zebra employees also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. Across the three locales, more than 100 collective hours were volunteered and thousands of dollars were donated and raised to support the organization's mission of providing affordable housing to all.

Helping Others Broaden Their Horizons

In March 2020, when school doors shuttered and millions of students were introduced to "e-learning," many students from low-income families found themselves at a disadvantage. They needed laptops, tablets and network connectivity so they could learn how to use Zoom. They also needed spaces in their homes conducive to learning.

In lieu of our annual volunteerism with Junior Achievement of Chicago, we donated $10,000 USD to help the organization bolster its virtual programming and continue to offer young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures and make smart academic and financial choices.

In the state of Georgia in the U.S., we donated laptops to the ASG Hope Foundation to support the organization's K-12 district partner, Paulding County Schools. Paulding College & Career Academy (PCCA) is already using the computers for its Career Pathway students. PCCA welcomes students in grades 9-12 from all five high schools in Paulding County and offers them the opportunity to develop skills and earn college credits in growing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

In Taipei, Taiwan, Zebra employees hosted an essential supply drive for Chung Yi Social Welfare Foundation. We also collected cash donations to help Chung Yi upgrade the computers it uses to record and maintain its large-scale databases, which will allow the 0-18-year-old children the organization serves to trace their birth families. On top of the fundraising, we made an additional donation to enable the organization to purchase a new computer and monitor for the children to use exclusively during homework time.

And, I’m happy to report that over 800 copies of the children’s book I wrote in support of Bernie’s Book Bank – Zippy’s Special Gift – were sold during the holiday season, with all proceeds going to the children’s literacy non-profit. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, I have good news: the book is now available to order on Amazon! (You can learn more about the book’s purpose and message in this blog post and then reserve copies for your friends, family, students and neighbors here.)

Restoring the Well-being of Individuals and Communities

The year 2020 was plagued by a long list of record-breaking natural disasters. Wildfires burned millions of acres in the western United States and much of Australia. In Asia, typhoons, monsoons and tropical storms caused massive flooding and displaced millions across numerous countries. And in the Atlantic Ocean, the 2020 hurricane season was the most active on record, resulting in destruction and devastation across the Americas. Of course, COVID-19 spread far and wide and caused a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 2 million people to date. This list, while already monumental and heartbreaking, is not comprehensive.

That’s why we’re grateful for the relentless efforts of global relief organizations and a proud philanthropic partner of the Red Cross. These natural disasters present significant challenges, and the Red Cross has not wavered in its mission to deliver lifesaving goods and services anywhere in the world, no matter the burden.

Though Zebra contributes to the Red Cross worldwide all year long, we donated more than $15,000 USD in November 2020 to support the organization’s response to Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Central America. The Red Cross is also the beneficiary of our philanthropic activities at our Sales Kickoff meetings throughout the first quarter of 2021. (We’ll give you an update on those efforts next month. Subscribe to the blog now to be notified when it becomes available.)

But that’s not all.

In late November, a U.S.-based Zebra employee made his way to Louisiana to help Team Rubicon with disaster relief efforts after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. His weeklong operations deployment alongside military veterans, first responders and otherwise exemplary citizens resulted in countless work orders closed and many newfound friends.

Team Rubicon members assess a fallen tree after a hurricane in Louisiana
Team Rubicon members erect a wall to rebuild a house damaged during a hurricane in Louisiana
Team Rubicon members who helped with the recovery after a hurricane in Louisiana in 2020

A Final Thought

With every disease, earthquake, fire and flood in 2020, a core component of the human race became more visible than ever before: our spirit of giving. The giving of our time, cash, skills, care and more.

As a company, Zebra is inspired by the collective effort put forth by our employees, partners and customers to bring hope, joy, peace and comfort to our local communities.

We look forward to continuing our philanthropic and volunteer activities around the world in 2021 and beyond, and we invite you to help us help those who need it most. Go online to learn how you can join Zebra’s efforts in supporting our key strategic charitable partners: the Red Cross, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Bernie’s Book Bank.

Corporate Social Responsibility, Inside Zebra Nation,
Therese Van Ryne
Therese Van Ryne

Therese Van Ryne is Senior Director of External Communications for Zebra Technologies. She joined Zebra as part of the acquisition of Motorola Solutions Enterprise business in October 2014. She and her team are laser focused on growing the company’s brand awareness globally aligned with business objectives. Her accomplishments include leading Zebra events with Harvard University and TED as well as the creation of the annual Intelligent Enterprise Index, resulting in positive media coverage, customer engagement and revenue growth.

Prior to Motorola Solutions, Van Ryne worked at SC Johnson where she led corporate communication strategies and drove PR and branding efforts for leading consumer products. One of her top achievements was leading the Windex® placement in the film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” resulting in a 25% sales increase for the brand.

One of PR News’ 2019 Top Women in PR and Crain's Chicago's 2021 Most Notable Executives in Marketing, Therese also has experience as a journalist, editor and producer, reporting nightly from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Van Ryne holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Marquette University and an Executive Leadership Master’s Certificate from Cornell University.

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