Remember Honor Support
May is National Military Appreciation Month, which has served as an annual tradition at BAE Systems for employees to demonstrate gratitude for our service members and their families through our Remember.Honor.Support. Challenge.
While our traditional ways of giving back were altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new approach allowed employees from across the sector to join forces and give back virtually. This year’s challenge also offered employees an opportunity to support our heroes and nonprofit organizations battling on the front lines of the pandemic.
Employees were challenged to complete one of five activities.
- Thank a First Responder – Employees like Sharon Heckstall, Assistant Facility Security Officer, drafted handmade ‘thank you’ cards to be included with care packages sent to healthcare providers, law enforcement officials, fire fighters, EMS, and members of the National Guard to thank them for their service. Sharon said her goal was simple: “If my cards can serve as a distraction for the brave men and women battling on the front lines every day, and lift their spirits for even just a few seconds, then it’s all worth it. I could not pass up the opportunity to thank these heroes for their extraordinary bravery during this unprecedented time.”
- Volunteer – Virtual volunteer opportunities were offered to employees, including reading to children, mentoring high school students, and providing career guidance and support to underrepresented youth. A number of employees, such as Sheila Lassard, Finance Learning Lead, used their unique skills to meet a pressing need in the community. Sheila made hundreds of protective face masks and donated them to her local area hospitals.
- Join the Veterans’ Support Network – Patrick Cornell joined other employees in signing up for the Veterans’ Support Network employee resource group. Patrick said, “I am a new employee and an Army veteran, so it is important to me to connect with and support fellow veterans.”
- Donate – Nonprofits have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. Some have been forced to cancel their biggest fundraising events of the year, while others have experienced an increase in demand for services.Employees responded by making donations throughout the month of May through our Workplace Giving portal to nonprofit organizations of their choice. Donations made to military-focused and education-based organizations were eligible for a corporate match.
- Wear red – More than 400 employees wore red on Fridays throughout May in honor of those who serve or have served our country.
For every employee that participated, Electronic Systems donated $5 to Operation Gratitude. Thanks to the selflessness of our employees across the sector, Electronic Systems proudly donated $15,000 to Operation Gratitude in recognition of the Remember.Honor.Support. Challenge.
In addition, for the three sites with the highest participation in the challenge, ES Community Investment donated $5,000 to a local military-focused organization. Donations were made to the New England Center and Home for Veterans for our Massachusetts sites; Fishing in the Dark for our Austin, Texas site; and Serve Our Willing Warriors for our Manassas, Virgina site.
Beyond May, ES Community Investment continues to maximize our impact on technology education and our veterans and military families by improving lives and advancing careers through the power of innovative technology and experiences.
Thank you to all of our dedicated employees across the sector for contributing to our mission of honoring America’s heroes.
By Peter Bucci, Communications, Endicott, New York