Coming together to fight hunger

May-June 2011 │ United States

Global Transaction Banking employees coordinate nationwide charitable initiative to benefit hunger relief charities.

Recently, Deutsche Bank employees from the Global Transaction Banking (GTB) division ran a nationwide initiative to address hunger in the United States.  Over a period of two months, May and June, GTB “site captains” at 10 locations succeeded in organizing 23 volunteer events with local charities (resulting in 54,283 pounds of groceries sorted), raising $3,654 and collecting 1,479 pounds of food.

GTB employees have long supported hunger relief efforts, but this commitment deepened in 2009, when a group of employees planned a comprehensive charitable initiative, consisting of fund-raising, food drives and volunteer events, as part of a professional development program.

However, this year’s effort did not stem from an organized program. Instead, led by Kevin Plein, Co-Head of Corporate Trust Americas, a few individuals took it upon themselves to engage their colleagues in helping others in need.
Without a structure in place, the leaders faced an additional challenge in getting the word out. Determined to mobilize as many volunteers as possible, they spent time walking around their floors to personally speak with colleagues and ran presentations tailored for individual teams and other small groups. Soon their hard work paid off, and participation in the 2011 initiative was just as successful as 2009. Caterina Buonafede, a GTB account manager who was instrumental in organizing most of the New York events, recalled, “In the end, people thanked me for insisting that they volunteer. [They] really enjoyed the volunteer activities.”

Across all locations, GTB employees participated in a wide range of volunteer experiences. Among the highlights, New York sorted 20,741 pounds of groceries (more than double what they were expected to pack); Miami prepared dinner for a community counseling event; Chicago re-packaged 1,500 pounds of cornflakes cereal and sorted 7,473 pounds of oranges; Santa Ana, CA, organized 8,974 pounds of food and packed 100 backpacks with nutritious snacks for underprivileged children; San Francisco repackaged 1,000 pounds of pasta; and Boston sorted 10,095 pounds of groceries. Some groups found these volunteer events, requiring hard work and collaboration, to be more constructive than traditional team building events. As Kevin Plein said, “The pride and sense of empowerment that the GTB volunteers came away with was astonishing.”

Altogether, the charitable efforts of GTB employees in 2011 can be equated to providing 63,432 meals for those in need, demonstrating what commitment, teamwork and passion can achieve.

Employees repack food at The Greater Boston Food Bank. enlarge

Employees repack food at The Greater Boston Food Bank.

Employees repack food at The Greater Boston Food Bank.

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Last Update: March 14, 2012
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