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MBX Cares philanthropy program enables employees to live their purpose off the job

When MBX Cares volunteers set out together in their bright orange t-shirts to lend a helping hand to local nonprofits, we don’t always see the impact our service makes on the organization as a whole. While we’re clear about who, what, and where our volunteering will take us, whether it’s painting and weeding or organizing and bagging, for example, often it’s sheer manpower we’re providing for filling the gaps and improving an operation’s productivity.

When employees choose to tackle a volunteer project using their actual job-related skills, the net effect is tangible. Contributing their professional knowledge to more complex challenges is a results-oriented way to engage and touch an entire nonprofit organization. Because the outcome often has a holistic, lasting impact, it’s no wonder skills-based volunteering is one of the fastest growing movements workers are becoming involved in.

Real-world skills, real-world impact

In a word, at MBX, technology is the common thread running through our DNA, regardless of whether an employee works in manufacturing, engineering, project management, or any other department because technology is at the core of our customers’ businesses.

Recently a few MBX employees tapped their technology skills in a purposeful way for the benefit of a nonprofit community. Here are their stories about how their talents helped an organization serve their members more effectively.

Andrew – MBX Lead Systems Verification Engineer

Andrew spent his MBX Serves day for the second year in a row providing computer-related services to the Poetry Center of Chicago. The organization needed someone to back up data from systems being retired, identify computers and peripherals that should be purged, set up new technology on donated desktop and laptop computers, and perform general updates/clean up for desktop systems remaining in use. Since the organization’s full-time employees aren’t capable of doing this work themselves, Andrew’s assistance was a great help to bring their technology up to date and ensure their computers operate smoothly.

Zach – MBX Lead Documentation Technician

Zach volunteered to help with networking, computers, displays, and other technology needs at his church when the pastor had a void he desperately needed filled. Zach was in the right place at the right time because, as is the case for many small organizations, workers typically wear many hats; however in this situation, IT wasn’t one of them. Some of Zach’s duties included setting up a local area network to connect workers within the church office and configuring multiple LCD displays together with a laptop so visual presentations in the church display properly. Working with this technology fit squarely into Zach’s comfort zone, and as an added bonus, he forged new relationships within his church community.

Dan – MBX Lead Project Manager

Dan volunteered at his local high school as a coach for their students’ Business Incubator program. The program involved mentoring teams in business concepts, product development, and fundamentals of running a business. Many of the teams’ products were tech apps the students wanted to bring to market. As a guest speaker, Dan coached the class in one of his areas of expertise — business presentation skills. Dan tapped his experience working at MBX to teach students this important life skill, and students gained a leg up on making effective business presentations long before they’re exposed to this at college or in the workforce.  

Meaningful opportunities like these are surfacing more and more frequently because corporate volunteering has become a mainstream way to cultivate a social purpose and give back to the community. Leveraging the professional skills of employees to improve nonprofits’ ability to perform their services more effectively is a winning proposition for everyone involved.