Global Volunteer Day: Sorting the Siegaue Nature Reserve in Germany
Over a ten-day period in September 2011, over 60,000 Deutsche Post DHL employees from more than 120 countries joined in Global Volunteer Day, the company’s program to engage employees to work with customers, partners and local organizations to volunteer in their communities. Here we take a look at one of these projects.
The Siegaue nature reserve in Bonn, Germany, is one of the most valuable local areas for flora and fauna in the country. It is home to many rare animals and plants, and nature conservationists welcome every effort to help preserve it. But it is also home to the Touch-Me-Not (or Sensitive Plant) – an invasive plant that keeps young trees from growing properly. As a popular recreational retreat, the Siegaue is also prone to litter. This is why 40 employees from Deutsche Post DHL’s Corporate Center chose the Siegaue to kick off the company’s Global Volunteer Day activities last September.
Garbage and weeds
For Smaranda Caplescu, Human Resources Manager in our Global Customers Services unit who organized the activity, it was quite an experience. “We split into two groups and spread out across the reserve. One group was assigned to garbage collection, the other to beating down the touch-me-nots. I was part of the first group. We picked up bagfuls of garbage from the undergrowth and from the banks of the river Sieg. When we were finished, we joined the others to help tackle the plants. We used heavy sticks to knock back vast areas of the meter-high plants that literally choke young saplings.
”This was Deutsche Post DHL’s biggest coordinated volunteer drive to date. Aimed at fostering volunteerism throughout the Group, the company’s community outreach program exceeded all expectations. Building on Volunteer Day introduced in the Asia Pacific region of the company in 2008, Global Volunteer Day (GVD) was rolled out in September 2011.
Demonstrating collaboration with a capital ‘C’, employees joined business partners, non-governmental organizations and community agencies to work on projects that benefit people and the environment around the world.
Although labelled ‘Volunteer Day’, GVD activities this year stretched from September 1 to September 10, 2011, with employees choosing their own day to get active. As testimony to the program’s overall aim, GVD sparked not just sporadic volunteer days, but lasting volunteer careers. And as for the Siegaue nature reserve, its young trees will have an easier time growing tall thanks to the efforts of Smaranda and her colleagues.