On May 14, the Charles Schwab Corporation celebrated its fifth annual Schwab Volunteer Day–a designated time each year in May that gives employees time off from work to volunteer for community nonprofits–with a kick-off at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Approximately 1,700 Schwab employees at the company’s major centers of employment across the country spent the day doing intensive volunteer work in each of their communities. “Schwab has always had a strong philanthropic culture and we felt that a company-wide volunteer day was a great way to capture that spirit and bring us all together for something bigger than ourselves and our organization,” notes Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, senior vice president and chief strategist, consumer education for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and president of The Charles Schwab Foundation, which focuses on supporting employee-selected causes and financial literacy. “It really worked, as most of our volunteer opportunities that are on a first come/first served basis fill up in a matter of minutes every year. Everyone looks forward to the day.”
A Variety of Volunteers
In fact, the program, which celebrates the Schwab values of fairness, empathy, responsiveness, striving, teamwork, and trust, has expanded every year since its inception. Originally expected to involve 10% of Schwab’s 13,000-plus employees, May 2008′s program included just over 13% of the workforce. Pomerantz’s father, company founder, chairman, and CEO Charles Schwab also attended this year’s event, as did Mayor Gavin Newsom. Volunteers gathered at central Schwab office locations including Austin; Denver; Indianapolis; Orlando; Phoenix; Richfield, Ohio; San Francisco; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Schwab employees collectively spent over 7,000 hours benefiting some 65 nonprofit and municipal organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national partner of Schwab; Habitat for Humanity; the Salvation Army; Ronald McDonald House Charities; various middle and high schools; animal welfare and rescue organizations; municipal parks, shorelines, and gardens; a variety of organizations dedicated to providing health, social, and human services to seniors, children, women, and families; community food banks; and centers devoted to music and the arts, just to name a few. Activities included everything from visiting with the elderly and cleaning up beaches to teaching financial literacy and socializing animals at the Humans Society.