Rise Against Hunger’s longstanding partner, AIG, is committed to supporting the communities they serve, including those affected by disasters, through programs and partnerships that leverage the skills, experience, knowledge and enthusiasm of their global workforce. Given their focus on ensuring that their business operations are conducted in a responsible, sustainable and respectful way, it is no surprise they are the perfect partner for Rise Against Hunger, rallying employees to get excited about the hands-on experience of packaging meals for people around the world. Read our Q&A with Laura Gallagher, AIG Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, below.
Q: How long have we partnered together, and what are AIG’s philanthropic areas of focus?
A: AIG and Rise Against Hunger have been working together to address world hunger since 2014. Our Corporate Citizenship areas of focus are Safety, Security and Disaster Preparedness and Relief.
Q: How did AIG initially become involved with Rise Against Hunger?
A: AIG was looking for volunteer activities that can accommodate large number of employees volunteering together, and onsite activities help make it easy for our employees to participate. The time commitment is also very small, while the impact is significant. In just a few hours employees can package thousands of meals that will help children and adults who do not know where their next meal will come from. It helps to know that the bags we touched will then help someone else.
Q: How have AIG employees responded to their experiences packaging meals with Rise Against Hunger?
A: Rise Against Hunger makes volunteering easy and fun. Employees work in teams, shouting to each other and the runner, dancing and — of course — they are excited to hit the gong. Rise Against Hunger staff members come in and set up the entire activity in our offices around the world: all employees have to do is show up and participate. “Having an event like this held in our building meant that more people were interested to sign up and volunteer,” said Sarah Davies, Corporate Citizenship and Events Manager, AIG U.K. Another employee, Erlene Goff-Lewis, who organized an event for AIG’s office in Olathe, K.S., said, “I have also had people say that it was the most fun community service they have ever done.” She also added that senior leaders who do not normally have the time to attend events dropped in and volunteered for an hour, which set a great example for everyone else.
Q: How has your global meal packaging expansion impacted your global sites?
A: AIG employees outside the U.S. now have the opportunity to volunteer with Rise Against Hunger and they are very enthusiastic about that. They enjoy volunteering with the organization because the meals packed with such energy and care often stay in country for their less fortunate neighbors.
Q: How has AIG and its Corporate Citizenship and engagement goals benefited from a partnership with Rise Against Hunger?
A: AIG employees volunteer year-round, but in April, we celebrate Global Volunteer Month. Global Volunteer Month is a time to celebrate collegiality, take pride in AIG and do good for our community. Working with Rise Against Hunger helped us create volunteer opportunities for employees in the U.S. and abroad, generating high employee engagement and helping us drive volunteerism and create impact.
Q: What is it about this partnership that makes you most proud?
AIG employees volunteer with Rise Against Hunger throughout the year, but in the month of April, we packaged over 225,000 meals during 12 events — 10 in the U.S. and two abroad. Our team in London packaged 50,000 meals in one day. We are proud of the impact that we are making. This year we also hosted the organization for a morning of consulting services with our most senior communications and marketing employees. Members of the Rise Against Hunger team had the opportunity to share their communications and marketing challenges and learn from experts in those fields.
Q: What is your vision for your partnership with Rise Against Hunger over the next few years?
A: AIG hopes to continue to work with organization driving even higher engagement, recruiting employees who have never volunteered through the company before.
Lastly, we are pleased to partner with Rise Against Hunger. The events AIG hosts in support of the organization’s mission are a terrific way to mobilize our workforce in hands-on experiences that result in team building, business partner engagement and, most importantly, helping people in need.