They called it “Together Month.” Across the U.S., BAE Systems employees dedicated October to improving their communities, teaming with 18 charities to clean up streets, feed the hungry, and address many other needs. The company pitched in, too, contributing $5 for each hour employees volunteered.
It was an impressive effort to be sure, but in many ways, it was business as usual for a workforce long committed to civic engagement. From January to December, the company and its employees assisted service members and veterans, promoted education, supported medical research, and otherwise spent a busy 2015 helping communities and charitable causes.“Demonstrating our commitment to the places where we work and live and supporting past and present members of our armed forces are integral to the fabric of our company,” said Kristie Cunningham, senior vice president of communications for BAE Systems, Inc.
We are proud to join our generous and socially active employees in improving many facets of our quality of life. Kristie Cunningham, Senior Vice President of communications for BAE Systems, Inc.
Serving those who serve
Causes that support veterans and active-duty service members take first priority. Whether helping build or repair homes for injured vets or donating bicycles to warfighters’ children, we seek to honor the sacrifices these brave men and women — and their families — bear on America’s behalf. During 2015:
- New Hampshire employees hosted nearly 400 active-duty military families for Military Appreciation Weekend in December. Smolak Farms in Massachusetts served up apples, pumpkins, and doughnuts at this annual tribute to service and sacrifice.
- Employees worked with Habitat for Humanity and Building Homes for Heroes to build and repair homes from California to South Dakota to New England.
- We supported Hero Dogs, K9 Soldiers, NEADS Canines for Combat Veterans, and Operation Delta Dog, organizations that provide service dogs to combat-wounded vets.
- During May, in observance of Military Appreciation Month, the company tripled employee donations to nonprofit organizations that support veterans’ causes — raising a whopping $75,896 across the nation. Employees also participated in various events in support of The Mission Continues, an organization that empowers veterans facing the challenge of adjusting to life at home to find new missions.
- BAE Systems proudly sponsored the Congressional Medal of Honor Convention that was held in Boston in September. Many of the nation's 79 living Medal of Honor recipients came together for the annual event.
- More than 3,500 employees around the company pledged to wear red on Veterans Day in a show of support, and in return, the company gave almost $12,000 to organizations that aid veteran causes.
- Employees took part in Veterans Day parades, laid wreaths at gravesites, and raised funds by walking, running, and playing golf at events across the country.
- More than 400 children of active service members received new bicycles thanks to employee donations that exceeded $25,000.
- As year-end drew near, employees organized Toys for Tots drives, adopted needy families to give kids a memorable Christmas, and donated trees to nearly 300 families.
BAE Systems, Inc. sponsored USO Metro’s Project Elf, a program to collect and distribute gifts to military families prior to the holidays. Employees volunteered their time and helped hand out and wrap gifts for the military families that participated in the event.
Supporting STEM education
Companies like ours rely on the ingenuity of a highly educated workforce. Ensuring that there’s enough talent in the so-called STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — is another priority for BAE Systems.
That’s why we’re annual supporters of FIRST Robotics, providing more than $400,000 in funding and supporting high school teams that compete to build working robots. And it’s why we received the Giving Wings to Dreams Award from STARBASE Minnesota, an organization that inspires creativity and learning with hands-on activities. The company has given the organization $37,000 in grants and donated significant volunteer hours.
In New Hampshire, our FOCUS (Fostering Opportunities and Careers Utilizing STEM) program launched in 2015 with the ambitious aim of inspiring high school students through hands-on learning opportunities in STEM fields. And in North Carolina, our employees teamed with the organization 100 Black Men of Charlotte to host the Youth STEM Showcase.
More than 48 million Americans — 16.2 million of them children — live in households that struggle to put enough food on the table. In 2015, we sought to alleviate that need in many ways.
- Minneapolis employees packed 5,000 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank and raised more than $16,000 for the charity at an online auction.
- Electronic Systems sector employees collected more than 1,250 pounds of food that went to seven charitable organizations around the country.
- Employees provided turkeys and the trimmings to the needy in Mobile, Ala., at Thanksgiving. Mobile employees also conducted a coat drive in partnership with Volunteers of America.
- The Radford Army Ammunition Plant’s inaugural Turkey Trot in Virginia provided food to 95 families, thanks in part to an enthusiastic response from BAE Systems employees.
- In San Diego, employees sorted and packaged thousands of pounds of apples and potatoes for a local food bank.
For a cleaner environment
With the world’s attention increasingly focused on the environment, BAE Systems is doing its part to clean up the places where it does business. Employees in Norfolk, Va., regularly police a mile of Berkley Avenue, a thoroughfare that leads to the company’s Norfolk shipyard. Norfolk employees also spent a day removing 3 tons of trash and wood debris from a section of Chesapeake Bay wetland.
San Diego employees meet monthly to pick up trash on neighborhood streets. Employees in Louisville spent the 45th annual Earth Day cleaning up the area near their employee store, weeding, planting flowers, and mulching. In Austin, employees joined forces to pick up litter, and New Hampshire employees cleared hiking trails at a nature education center.
And many more efforts
Our employees take part in many other efforts that strengthen our communities. A team from Holston, Tenn., raised $8,000 for cancer research at the Relay for Life event in nearby Kingsport. In Fort Walton Beach, Fla., employees showed their support for law enforcement by running and walking in the I Support the Thin Red Line 5K, with proceeds benefiting families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
BAE Systems and its employees are serious about their role as a community partner, and we’re looking forward to another productive year in 2016.