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Guest Blog from ManpowerGroup,
a corporate member of the Nonprofit Center and Business Volunteer Council
ManpowerGroup’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is always a major event in which the company invites the children of its employees, ages 8 to 12, to participate in a day that’s filled with activities developed especially for kids. Each year a planning team at the company gets creative and presents the world of work in a fun and interesting way. This year, however, the company decided to develop the day with a bit of a twist and chose a theme they called: More than Money. Kids spent the day learning about things responsible companies do in addition to making money. For ManpowerGroup, it’s about supporting the community, embracing diversity, and promoting ecology.
The day kicked off with an activity which involved kids and their parents working at group tables to create a collage that promoted one of the focus areas. Kids cut pictures from several hundred magazines that had been donated by employees, selected and colored titles for their collage (such as, Our Differences Make Us Beautiful, Saving the Planet Is Humanly Possible, Kids Can Make a Difference, and Everybody Can Help Somebody) and then mounted everything on recycled corrugated cardboard. These collages were then displayed on easels at the company’s corporate cafeteria.
During the core part of the day, the kids rotated among three workshops, which were facilitated by three community partners. Vision Forward facilitated a session on Diversity which focused on educating the kids about individuals who are blind and visually impaired. Vision Forward brought in a beautiful service dog which the kids could interact with and they taught the kids about the work of a service dog. They also taught the kids about adaptive devices for the blind and visually impaired and about braille. The Urban Ecology Center facilitated a session on ecology and the kids had an opportunity to test water samples, ride an energy bike to learn just how much energy it takes to light a light bulb, and make paper from recycled paper and embed it with seeds which could then be planted. The Hunger Task Force facilitated a poverty simulation in which the kids were given a ‘life scenario,’ and then had to visit stations and purchase food from among the options available. Their goal was to stretch their money as far as possible while making healthy choices to feed their family for a week.
At lunch, together with their parents, kids visited the corporate cafeteria and got to select from among the wide array of fare available. They also enjoyed a fun scavenger hunt throughout ManpowerGroup’s headquarters which focused on the theme areas of community, diversity, and ecology.
During the afternoon kids chose which of four volunteer projects they wanted to participated in. Kids could:
In keeping with the spirit of the theme, the day ended with a ‘Pay it Forward’ activity where kids got 2 gift certificates for a free McDonalds ice cream cone – one for themselves, and one to give to someone else.
ManpowerGroup is pleased to see Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day continue to grow and this year the company hosted the largest group in its history -- nearly 130 kids. To help make the day a success, ManpowerGroup invites teens who have aged out of the program to serve as volunteers, and this year 14 teens helped support the program. Many of the schools these teens attend require their students to log community service hours, so serving at the event helps them meet this requirement. Additionally numerous parents and other employees volunteer to help during various activities throughout the day.
Pamila Brown, who manages the company’s program, shares that “By the end of the day kids and volunteers are exhausted, but everyone leaves with a smile on their face. It’s an amazing day!”