Employees in France, Germany, Poland, and Spain are joining their colleagues around the world in supporting their home communities through volunteerism thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the John Deere Foundation to United Way Worldwide. The grant launched a formal citizenship program in the European region in 2017.
Kicking off the program, John Deere France employees from Orleans-Saran, Ormes, and Arc-lès-Gray held a first-of-its-kind event, aimed at helping fight hunger. Employees at each of the units worked with local food banks to sort more than 38 tons of food products. More than 180 volunteers participated in the event, organized by United Way France and the non-profit Unis-Cité. The food was later distributed to area food banks along with a check for €16.000 ($17,142 USD) from the John Deere Foundation to help purchase a refrigerated truck to distribute food.
Elsewhere, employee volunteers in Poland supported the First Bell program by donating, sorting, and packing school supplies for needy students. "We organized quite a nice collection of school supplies and I believe it made the employees feel happy and proud," said an organizer.
In all, John Deere employees in the four countries recorded nearly 3,036 volunteer hours in 2017.