Everyone familiar with SAP knows that the company has an enduring commitment to help the world run better and improve people’s lives through its innovative products and services. Perhaps less well-known is that SAP is also committed to serving global and local communities with several CSR initiatives that range from donating laptops and tablet computers to leveraging SAP technologies to help resolve social issues across the globe. SAP’s annual Month of service is one such initiative. The Month of Service is a time when thousands of SAP employees come together in October under a singular, charitable vision to give of their time and talents to meet the needs of people in the community. Teams and members across North America complete over 300 projects for various causes and charities in a corporate-led effort to know, care, and do more.

This year, the Global Center of Expertise in North America (CoE) continued its ongoing partnership with Cradles to Crayons and Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse.

The CoE kicked off the Month of Service on October 6th at Cradles to Crayons in Conshohocken, PA. Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization providing children from birth through the age of 12 with the essential items needed to thrive at home and in school. A team of 28 CoE members sorted through winter clothing, toys, books, and school supplies that had donated by the community and assembled them into individual packs to be distributed to homeless and low-income children in the greater Philadelphia region. Each child receives a backpack filled with four outfits, school books, and a few toys. The CoE team also made back-to-school cards with hand-drawn pictures and encouraging words to cheer on the children as they begin a new year.

Reflecting on the opportunity to volunteer with SAP at Cradles to Crayons, CoE member Dinesh McGinty said, “Being a part of a company-sponsored volunteer effort makes me proud to work for SAP because it brings us closer as a company and promotes relationship-building with people in our community.” Laura Allan, another member of the CoE team, said that she and her colleagues were inspired by Cradle to Crayons’s motto, “Quality is dignity,” and was glad to know that their volunteer work promoted the dignity of others.

On October 30th, the CoE closed out the Month of Service by partnering with United Way, whose generous gift of $1,038.95 helped to support the all-day volunteer event at Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse and ensured that Smith Playground could continue to provide fun and educational opportunities for children in the Philly community. The mission of Smith Playground is to provide and promote opportunities for unstructured free play for children.

The playground & playhouse are located on six acres of land in West Philly’s beautiful Fairmount Park. The property features both an expansive outdoor playground equipped with its iconic giant wooden slide, swings, jungle gyms, and a variety of outdoor games as well as a century-old playhouse with 16,000 square feet of space that offers toys, games, a tumbling room, book nook, climb-on train, and an indoor tricycle path that meanders through the play-town of “Smithville.”

To keep the playground and playhouse up and running requires a lot of work and the generosity of others. As a non-profit organization, Smith Playground relies on grants, donations, and the help of volunteers to maintain the property and provide new books, games, and equipment. That’s why 30 members from the CoE volunteered their time to help with property maintenance to preserve the playground and enable the organization to continue its mission. They worked throughout the day planting trees and shrubs, filling potholes, cleaning the playhouse, and building a giant chalkboard.

Both Melissa Canavan and Ann-Marie Kalarickal enjoyed their time volunteering at the Smith Playground. “I had a great first experience contributing to SAP’s month of service,” Melissa said. “It was fun and fulfilling working together with other CoE members to give back to the community.” Ann-Marie recounts having a terrific experience and was glad knowing that her team’s work would allow children the opportunity to enjoy the century-old park.

Both events were made possible by the hard work and dedication of Megan Rech, who serves as the ambassador of the CoE during SAP’s Month of Service by connecting with our non-profit partners, organizing, and leading the way during volunteer events.

The CoE is proud to partner with Cradles to Crayons, United Way, and Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse in their missions to enrich the lives of people in our local community. And SAP is thankful for its many team members who are passionate about giving back to their communities. SAP’s effort to make the world a better place wouldn’t be possible without people like Megan, Dinesh, Laura, Melissa, Ann-Marie, and many others, who value their communities and show compassion by investing in a socially responsible future.

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