Today marks the fifth annual #GivingTuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and on the heels of the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable giving season, encouraging social action, collaboration and generosity.
At Konica Minolta, we’re committed to making our world a better place. It’s engrained in our corporate culture and stems from our philosophy which aims to “create value for society.” As a global company, we work hard to use our wide-reaching resources and expertise to contribute to the greater good. We’re promoting environmental sustainability by continually developing and perfecting the greenest products and solutions on the market. This year we’ve even added the new goal of achieving “Carbon Minus” status to our long term environmental plan, Eco Vision 2050.
Here in the U.S. our employees are changing our world for the better everyday. This year alone, we’ve put more than 3,000 books into the homes of young readers from low-income families, contributed $6,000 to breast cancer research and devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to harvesting vegetables for local food banks and rebuilding our communities. Konica Minolta has also contributed $40,000 in matched donations to nonprofit organizations important to our employees through our newly launched Matching Contributions Program. These are all achievements to be proud of and inspire us to continue to think of new and creative ways that we can pay it forward in the coming year.
That’s the beauty of giving, there are seemingly infinite ways that every person can make the world a better place, and as a company that values innovation and creativity, we are well equipped to come up with solutions to problems. This year, I read the brilliantly written book, “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It was an eye-opening glimpse into one of the largest humanitarian issues facing our world today, the oppression of so many women and girls in developing countries. More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, just because of their gender, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century. But the authors suggest that there is an attainable solution; by providing financial support and education to th
ese women and girls, oppression can be turned into opportunity.
I came away from the book wanting to help. The Lady Savant Foundation recently opened a school for 6th – 8th grade students in Cambodia and are actively seeking funds and educational materials to support the school and their “Girls Be Ambitious” program, an incentive program to keep girls safe, educated, and out of human trafficking circles. The Foundation teams up with the ArtWare organization, to run creative team building events to design tiles for charitable causes. During December, a group of Konica Minolta employees will have the opportunity to design educational “ABC” tiles that will be installed on the walls of the school in 2018. I’m excited to see what our employees create together and thrilled that we will be contributing directly to such an important cause.
This #GivingTuesday, take a moment to think about what you can do to give back. Whether the gesture is large or small, creative or simple, every act of kindness makes the world a better place. At Konica Minolta, we’re excited for what the New Year holds and look forward to continuing to provide innovative solutions of all kinds in 2018!