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Getting Creative with Pandemic Community Service

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For this year’s AMD  Virtual Day of Service, we asked employees around the world to share the causes they are passionate about and how AMD has supported them in giving back to their communities. The pandemic created unique challenges to volunteering and AMD is extremely proud of AMDers’ devotion to finding alternative virtual ways to elevate their communities. 

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Years ago, the staff at SickKids Foundation saved Joseph Macaranas’s niece from brain cancer.

Joseph, a senior software development engineer at AMD in Markham Canada, misses the human connection in-person volunteering affords. But given his personal experience with the incredible impact community organizations can have, he feels strongly that he can continue to give back to his community – even through a pandemic.  

 

“I think it’s important to pay it forward,” Joseph explained, “and give others the opportunity to succeed through receiving the same benefits that helped me and my family.”

Through AMD Virtual Day of Service, Joseph was able to recruit Markham colleagues to volunteer with him, which he said he would not have been able to reach on his own.

AMDers around the globe with similar passions for making an impact banded together for this year’s AMD  Virtual Day of Service and found creative ways to engage with their communities.

Lisa Ward, an AMD program manager from Austin, TX, looks at volunteering as an opportunity to bring to life different facets of her identity. At AMD she is an engineer. For her family she is a mother. As a volunteer, she gets to be a violist, a naturalist, and a teacher – roles that she wouldn’t get to play if it weren’t for her work with the with Baden-Powell Service Association and the Goodwater Junior Master Naturalist program.

Her love of the outdoors and passion for education drew her to these organizations. In pre-pandemic times she would convene groups of young people in the outdoors for hands-on inquiry and project-based learning, but as quarantine orders forced her organizations to shut down in-person gatherings, Lisa had to pivot to more creative ways of engaging young people.

“With a doctoral specialization in virtual learning, I found myself taking on a “yes, we can do this” role,” says Lisa. “With scouts, our group developed a once-a-month camp-in model where we provide supplies for a day of hands-on learning intermixed with getting outdoors close to home. With Junior Master Naturalist, we turned to the iNaturalist app building weekly meetings for the year around teaching our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to contribute as citizen scientists documenting our local natural spaces.”

Georgia Hart, Head of Brand Strategy at AMD UK, faced a similar challenge in finding a way to replace in-person interactions with remote engagement. Georgia helped translate a traditionally in-person event to the virtual sphere, partnering with children's educational charity Power2 to connect local AMDers in the UK with disadvantaged young people in the community.

“We all missed that added benefit of team-building, which a face-to-face event facilitates,” Georgia said. “But the enjoyment and positive impact of a day dedicated to giving back to local communities through volunteerism has not changed.”

This sentiment represents the spirit and resiliency of our global AMD team. Since the Day of Service program launched in 2015, AMD has encouraged employees to find volunteer opportunities they are passionate about and empowered them to use the strength of AMD in service of those causes.  “I think it is very appropriate that AMD supports Power2 since both organizations share a strong belief in the power of close collaboration as well as the limitless potential of people,” said Hart.

We celebrate each and every individual who volunteers in their community – whether for AMD Day of Service, or year-round – for their dedication to and passion for making a true difference in the world.