With the successful launch of the SPARK Global Volunteer Program in 2016, MilliporeSigma, the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, employees continue to SPARK curiosity around the world, giving back to the communities in which they live and work during 2018 quarterly dedicated SPARK weeks. In addition to SPARK events organized throughout the year, the dedicated SPARK weeks model brings employees together at specific and consistent points in time.
“We established a strong reputation for our SPARK program, both internally and externally,” said Jeffrey Whitford, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Branding at MilliporeSigma. “Externally, our communities around the world are increasingly recognizing the value we bring in engaging the next generation in STEM-related educational programs and are eager to tap into our SPARK programming.”
SPARK Impact to Date
MilliporeSigma has seen first-hand the impact that SPARK has had on employees and the students reached. Since the program launch in 2016, MilliporeSigma has engaged 3,706 employees who have volunteered at least one time for a total of 47,640 volunteer hours in 36 countries, partnering with 668 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and reaching 195,000 students.
With a focus on skills-based volunteer opportunities, SPARK allows MilliporeSigma employees to leverage their talents, skills and experiences in order to engage the next generation in science-related activities as a way to spark curiosity. This helps ignite a passion for science and inspires students to consider a STEM-related career.
“I am so proud to be a part of a company that places such great value and resources in giving back to the community,” said Khanh Soliven, research scientist at MilliporeSigma and SPARK team member at the Bellevue, Washington site. “I believe in engaging and encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers, and I’m happy to be a part of this important program.”
All activities are employee-led and include everything from Science Day Expos—during which employees lead a variety of small-scale, interactive experiments during scheduled school-wide events—to Site Hosting—where employees invite students to their local MilliporeSigma site for an educational tour, hands-on activities and thought-provoking discussions about science.
SPARK events also include civic opportunities, such as meal packing events, park clean-ups and volunteering at a food bank.
Aiming High for SPARK 2018
Employees around the world participated in a variety of SPARK events to kick off SPARK 2018 during the Q2 SPARK week in April. From a water filtration event in Argentina, Curiosity Cube™ events in Kankakee, Illinois and 10 Curiosity Labs™ lessons at a primary school in Spain, employees sparked curiosity in the next generation of scientists. But it didn’t stop there. In Darmstadt, Germany and Burlington, Massachusetts, in partnership with Rise Against Hunger, the company hosted two meal packing events, where combined more than 200 employees packed a collective 50,000 meals for school feeding programs in developing countries.
This is just the beginning.
MilliporeSigma’s SPARK 2018 goals are ambitious, yet attainable, and they look to employees across the organization to help build on the impact they have already made to provide even more meaningful outcomes for employees, communities and nonprofit/NGO partners around the world.
Tweet me: Since the launch of @MilliporeSigma’s #SPARK Global Volunteer Program in 2016, the company has engaged more than 3,700 employees in skills-based and civic #volunteer opportunities. Read more about this #CR initiative: http://bit.ly/2KY2ifT
KEYWORDS: MilliporeSigma, Corporate Responsibility, Employee Volunteer Programs, Jeffrey Whitford, hands-on science, SPARK Global Volunteer Program, Curiosity Labs, Curiosity Cube