For this Giving Tuesday, we wanted to share an update on the nearly $250,000 in donations Progress has made this year to nonprofits dealing directly with the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice in the communities we call home.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a tradition started in 2012 to set aside the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a day to spread generosity globally so people and organizations could see the power they have to change the world, one community at a time.
In 2020, many have lived behind a mask of uncertainty—not knowing when they could see friends or family members, not knowing if their jobs would be there, not knowing where their next meal might come from, not knowing how they were going to get through not one, but two school years with their kids at home, and not knowing if all the things they took for granted, like items on a grocery store shelf, would suddenly disappear.
But out of chaos can come community and kindness. To that aim, Progress was determined to do whatever we could this year to help some outstanding organizations help as many people as possible because as civil rights leader and author Coretta Scott King said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
So, what better place to start than close to home. Our global headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts, happens to be about 20 miles from one of the top research hospitals in the U.S.—Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Mass General has long been known for its preparedness and disaster response, and COVID-19 was no exception.
When the pandemic struck, the hospital set up an Emergency Response Fund to address it. Progress has donated $25,000 to the fund.
“The Emergency Response Fund has fueled so many efforts at Mass General, from purchasing PPE to protect our frontline staff to researching a vaccine, from supporting hard-hit communities such as Chelsea, Massachusetts, to converting our hospital to care for COVID-19 patients, and Progress’ donation played a direct role in these initiatives,” said Britain W. Nicholson, MD, senior vice president for development, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Nicholson said the donation gives Mass General the ability to:
Progress also donated $25,000 to the Greater Boston Food Bank to help feed 140,000 people each month and provide resources across 190 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts.
The effort to feed the hungry during the pandemic didn’t stop there. We were inspired by the work of My Office Apps, which built enterprise resource planning (ERP) software on Progress OpenEdge to help Meals on Wheels of San Francisco deliver more than 20,000 meals a day. Progress followed up with a donation of $5,000 this November to Meals on Wheels of San Francisco to support their efforts to feed those in need during the holidays. Read more about Meals on Wheels and how My Office Apps helped here.
When the 2020-21 school year started, Progress made several donations to benefit students in communities where we have offices in the U.S. Donations included $1,250 to the Johnston County North Carolina Schools’ back-to-school supply drive and to provide more than 500 healthy snacks, $3,000 to Cradles to Crayons Ready for Learning initiative in the Boston area, $1,500 to help fill 680 backpacks full of supplies for students at the Ridgeview Charter Middle School near Alpharetta, Georgia, and $1,000 in Madison, Wisconsin, to the annual Goodman Community Center’s backpack drive, which focused on supplies needed for remote learning this year.
With several international offices and employees on six continents, Progress isn’t just a U.S. company though. A $15,000 donation to the Rotterdam Food Bank in the Netherlands helped support 7,000 families in the region, ensuring that food packages were safely and securely delivered. Founded in 2002, the food bank was the first of its kind in the country. With the help of businesses, individuals and 400-plus volunteers, the nonprofit provides food to thousands of households.
In Bulgaria, where Progress has a large office in Sofia, we helped the United Against COVID-19 Fund provide financial assistance to local organizations that are working with communities most severely affected by the pandemic. Progress also donated tech equipment to SOS Children’s Villages in Bulgaria to support an online learning environment for children in need.
A $5,000 donation to the Bulgarian Fund for Women (BFW) was distributed to crisis and counseling centers across the country that provide women and their children with psychological, legal and social assistance, as well as temporary shelter during COVID-19, according to BFW’s executive director Nadejda Dermendjieva.
BFW is the only national nonprofit in Bulgaria that raises funds and gives grants to local NGOs working to advance women’s and girls’ rights, eliminate gender stereotypes, gender-based violence and discrimination, and achieve gender equality in all spheres of life and make social change. When the pandemic arrived and instances of domestic violence increased, BFW swiftly reacted, creating an emergency fund for combating domestic violence.
In India, where Progress has hundreds of employees in Hyderabad, we made several donations, including $7,500 to the Chief Minister Relief Fund. Created to lend a helping hand to the poorest of the poor, the Chief Minister Relief Fund assists those who are in distress due to health problems and those experiencing loss of property/income due to natural calamities.
A similar donation to PM CARES: Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations helped provide relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is aimed at strengthening the fight against COVID by encouraging research and furthering the availability of treatment.
Giving Tuesday is a great day, but it’s just one day. Let’s keep it going.
Our family at Progress plans to do even more during the holidays and in the coming months. We’re so thankful during this season of giving to have thoughtful employees and leadership, as well as the resources and opportunities to help incredible organizations do the important work they do.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that serving people is simple, “You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
If one good thing comes out of 2020, maybe it could be hearts full of grace when there’s so much at stake.
Dave Pierce was the employer brand manager for Progress.
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