Public service activities and volunteerism are a vital part of our corporate culture at Sony, and we actively encourage employees to give back to the communities in which they live.
Perhaps no other initiative embodies this spirit more than our annual SomeOne Needs You (SONY) Global Volunteer Day, our signature volunteer program. Each year, hundreds of Sony employees across the U.S. take part in this global initiative, which encourages staff members to spend a work day participating in a Company-organized volunteer activity in their local communities.
In 2012, for example, employees at Sony Corporation of America (SCA), Sony Music Entertainment (SME), Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and Sony DADC in New York helped transform a barren outdoor space at P.S. 636 K – the Young Scholars’ Academy for Discovery and Exploration, an elementary school in the Bed-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn – into an interactive outdoor classroom. In addition, volunteers conducted environmentally themed educational workshops with the school’s students in which they built solar-powered race cars and their own water filtration systems. In Los Angeles, SPE employees have partnered with local organizations such as TreePeople, Los Angeles Audubon and the Ballona Creek Renaissance to plant trees and native plants and revitalize neighborhood parks, waterways and beaches.
Volunteer efforts at SPE are coordinated through LINKS, an SPE program aimed at empowering and recognizing employee volunteerism to connect the company to the community and employees to each other. SPE volunteers have assisted the Special Olympics of Southern California, Midnight Mission, Dress for Success, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, the Downtown Women’s Center, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and many more worthy organizations.
Sony Electronics (SEL) encourages its employees to provide leadership to non-profit organizations in the form of youth mentoring, Board of Director membership and project coordination. Organizations that have benefited from the work of SEL volunteers include the Affinity Group for Japanese Philanthropy, the Business Policy Review Council, the Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey, the National Urban Affairs Council and the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies, among many others.
SCA and SPE sponsor the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Workplace Mentoring Program, through which local high school students are matched with employee volunteers for a 15-week educational program. The initiative builds strong bonds between the “Bigs” and “Littles” through mentoring, while enabling the “Littles” to learn about workplace etiquette and various careers available in the technology and entertainment industries.
SPE also supports a robust and ever expanding mentoring initiative called Passing the Torch, which engages employees in one-on-one, school-based or workplace mentoring opportunities. Partnerships include: 826LA, Young Storytellers Foundation, LifeWorks, Step Up Women’s Network and Film Independent’s Project Involve.
Through such programs, employees are able to utilize their skills to make a significant positive difference in the lives of others and, ultimately, help them succeed in school, at work and – most importantly – in life.