Volunteering in a pandemic: making Hero Month happen
The global pandemic has hit graduates hard, and being one myself, I spent months trying to find a company that was still willing to hire. So I was thrilled to see that the CSR and Sustainability department at Delivery Hero had created an internship program to help in this situation, and even more thrilled when I got offered this unique opportunity. But little did I know that I was going to be helping with the planning and execution of one the company’s core ‘giving back’ initiatives.
When I started my position as CSR & Sustainability intern on the 1st of September 2020, I joined an incredible team that is value and purpose driven. It embodies the true spirit of corporate social responsibility and goes above and beyond to achieve it – which is reflected in their giving back initiatives.
Hero month: volunteering for positive impact
Having dedicated ample time to volunteering myself, such as working on a refugee camp in Greece as a volunteer coordinator, I have personally seen the incredible impact that corporations can have on society when giving back. This is why volunteer programs have always been one of the first aspects I look at in companies, as I believe they convey the company’s dedication to their social responsibility.
Helping our community cannot stop in a global crisis – in fact, that’s the moment where people need help the most.
When looking at Delivery Hero’s giving back program I was shocked by the breadth and depth of it. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of opportunities that employees are given on a yearly basis, especially that they are granted two full working days to volunteer in whichever area they might want to.
One cornerstone of the giving back pillar is the Hero Month initiative; a month of volunteering where Delivery Hero partners with numerous organizations to create opportunities for employees to give back and have a positive impact. This initiative particularly struck me from the beginning, so I was really excited when I discovered that the first project I would work on would be Hero Month!
Giving back in times of COVID-19
Volunteering often involves in-person events where you get to meet new people and personally impact the community around you. However, due to Covid, the giving back scene has undergone drastic changes.
The way Delivery Hero has approached volunteering despite restrictions is proof of how the company lives up to its values. Helping our community cannot stop in a global crisis – in fact, that’s the moment where people need help the most. As such, Delivery Hero aimed higher, found innovative solutions to volunteer, and proved how they really are Heroes because they care.
I am extremely proud to have been part of this solution. As an intern, I never thought I would have been able to work on such a crucial project with such a profound and visible impact.
What this project really proved to me is that in every challenge, lies opportunity.
Other than helping with the setup of the program, what I found invaluable was that I was able to be in contact with numerous departments of the company, from the legal team to the product and tech team, as we are all fundamentally linked by one thing – the will to give back. This is an aspect I do not take for granted as especially in a virtual set up, feeling isolated in one’s own work can be quite common. I am therefore grateful to have been in a position where constant communication was a key factor.
The real challenge I faced with organizing Hero Month 2020 was being able to provide both an amazing volunteering experience and, at the same time, an incredibly safe one. Covid really pushed myself and my manager to think outside the box on how to provide engaging, impactful and safe events.
The importance of being a corporate citizen
Looking back at October, I can proudly say that we managed to partner with 26 organisations and create over 41 hybrid events (virtual and non) which positively impacted our community through virtual mentoring, virtual mask-making for the homeless, and food sorting – to name just a few.
What this project really proved to me is that in every challenge, lies opportunity. Whilst in the previous years our impact had been limited to the cities where we work, going virtual meant we were able to provide a more global impact such as helping the Moria Refugee Camp in Greece.
Hero Month’s impact showed how crucial Delivery Hero’s role as a corporate citizen is.
Overall, what I admired about Hero Month is that it created a period for employees to really engage and reflect upon how we can each continue to give back regardless of the difficulties we might encounter. The fact that even DH’s management team found time to volunteer and help during these challenging times, was once again proof of how much giving back lies at the foundations of DH’s spirit.
Hero Month’s impact showed how crucial Delivery Hero’s role as a corporate citizen is. The world we live in is in need of corporations such as this one to take responsibility and be accountable for its global impact. I am thrilled to see what more projects await and how I can help make a difference with them.