December 8, 2022
Across the globe, Apple and its teams are finding new ways to give
The company’s Employee Giving program has raised over $880 million, with more than 2 million volunteer hours logged
Since January, Apple Store team member Maranda Barhorst has volunteered her time to remotely read audiobooks to children at the Ronald McDonald House in Washington, DC; helping a Tennessee doula create materials for her nonprofit organization that aims to reduce maternal mortality; and designing cards highlighting black professionals to inspire students in Chicago. That’s in addition to volunteering personally with Big Brothers Big Sisters in her hometown of Cincinnati. And the year isn’t over yet.
“I never needed anything growing up, but it wasn’t easy either,” says Barhorst, a manager at Cincinnati’s Apple Kenwood Towne Center, which is part of Apple’s Global Volunteer Program. “So any opportunity to make it a little bit easier for someone else is something that speaks to my soul – if I can, I will. Because helping someone to be brave or feel included can change the future and that’s important to be one of the ripples in the pond.”
Since its inception 11 years ago, Apple’s Employee Giving program has raised over $880 million for nearly 44,000 organizations globally. That includes the work of more than 76,000 employees who have logged more than 2.1 million volunteer hours. For every hour an Apple employee volunteers or dollar they donate, Apple matches a monetary donation to the same organization. In addition to volunteer activities and contributions made through the Employee Giving program, Apple also contributes millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations through corporate grants.
This year, Apple and its team members have contributed to local organizations and global causes in extraordinary ways in communities around the world. From weekly volunteer engagements to local grants to support food banks, and from professional mentoring to environmental clean-up events, the Apple community showed up for the people and places it calls home.
Earlier this year, for example, Apple launched a two-for-one matching program for all employee donations to organizations that help support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The company also contributed directly to groups on the ground, including World Central Kitchen (WCK), a nonprofit founded by chef José Andrés that provides meals to people in crisis. Since February 25, the day after the invasion, WCK has served more than 177 million meals across eight countries in the region.
Across Europe, Apple employees are incredibly active in their communities, including in Cork, Ireland. Among other engagements, teams there have been volunteering for the past five years at Field of Dreams, a three-hectare horticultural site run by Down Syndrome Ireland. In 2022, volunteer engagement has increased by more than 250 percent year-on-year, with 850 volunteers completing more than 2,000 hours with the organization. That has a lot to do with the efforts of Apple’s Brian O’Leary, who helps coordinate Apple events at Field of Dreams.
“During the pandemic, the place got a little unkempt – the weeds just don’t stop growing,” says Debbie Kelleher, Field of Dreams’ care coordinator. “But Brian came out after the restrictions were lifted and said that the Apple teams were very keen to help out more regularly. We now have Apple volunteers here almost every Friday – we call them Apple Fridays.”
“When people volunteer at Field of Dreams, they walk away feeling like they’ve made an impact, and that’s what keeps us all coming back,” says O’Leary, who is already planning next year’s visit . “This organization makes a real difference in the lives of the people it serves, and to play even a small part in that means a lot.”
In sub-Saharan Africa, Apple continues its 16-year partnership with the Global Fund through the (PRODUCT)RED campaign, which has raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars to help fight AIDS. These efforts support dozens of organizations across the region, including the Zanzibar Association for People with HIV/AIDS (ZAPHA+), which has cared for thousands of children living with HIV through counseling and support groups.
That includes Miriam, who joined ZAPHA+ after finding out she was HIV positive as a teenager. The organization inspired her to become a health worker, and she is now married with a child who is HIV negative thanks to antiretroviral treatment.
Among its community engagements in Australia, this year Apple expanded its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to the country. The initiative supports a number of organizations that promote equality in the country’s indigenous communities, including ID. Know yourself. Founded by Isaiah Dawe in 2019, the nonprofit organization helps support and mentor young members of the Aboriginal community who are in foster care or out of home care.
“I always say our purpose is founded in hurt because I grew up just like the children we work with – and there are more than 20,000 Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in Australia,” says Dawe, a Butchulla and Gawara Saltwater man who was in the Australian foster care system from infancy until he turned 18. “By ID. Know yourself, we create love, hope and belonging so that every child can find self-determination and fulfillment in their lives. We’ve been working with Apple for a few years now and it’s great to see our children express themselves in creative sessions that draw on their indigenous heritage and culture – they feel empowered because they’re connecting with their past and learning skills they need for their future.”
Across the globe, Today at Apple expanded its Creative Studios program, which partners with community organizations, mentors and Apple Store teams to offer career-building creative experiences. In Tokyo, members of Sankakusha — a nonprofit that helps young adults struggling with isolation — were paired with photography and video professionals for a five-week course that culminated in each participant presenting their creative work.
“It was incredible to see the transformation that happened through the power of creativity – it’s not something we could have done by ourselves in such a short time,” says Sankakusha founder, Yusuke Arai. “The commitment of the mentors and the skills they learned enabled our young people to express themselves and find their voice. Some of our members became more confident than we could have imagined; after the program finished, a few found full-time jobs and another went back to school.”
In Shanghai, Apple Store team member Elyn Tang has been volunteering throughout the year with organizations that clean local rivers and help families who have children with disabilities. She also attended an event with the Rainbow Volunteer Club, a group that helps connect teenage girls living in rural areas of the country with mentors. In March, Tang worked with the organization and wrote a letter of support to a young girl, not knowing who would receive it and not expecting a response. But in June, she received an email that touched her heart.
“The girl who wrote back told me that my letter made her feel like she wasn’t alone,” says Tang, who is raising a young daughter of her own. “She said she had always wanted to be a teacher, but had been at a loss and didn’t know how to make it happen. My letter inspired her to work hard to make that dream come true. I feel like my words helped strengthen her and that gives me a sense of peace.”
Around the world, Apple supports the work of food banks and other organizations that address food disparities through its Strengthen Local Communities grant program and other programming. And employees regularly team up with local organizations to help provide food, shelter and other services to those in need.
In India, the organization Rise Against Hunger hosted several meal-wrapping events at Apple campuses in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, which together collected over 30,000 meals.
“Participating in social welfare activities is important to me because I feel everyone should give back to their community if they can,” said Apple team member Vinod Nitturi, who volunteered at the Hyderabad event. “I’ve been blessed, and so if I can help someone who’s struggling, I’ll do everything in my power to make it possible.”
As part of its work to advance environmental justice and advocate for communities most affected by climate change and environmental disparities, Apple this year provided grants to environmental justice organizations, including the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Center for Diversity and the Environment, Native Conservancy, and UPROSE . And for Earth Day, more than 1,300 Apple team members participated in dozens of cleanups and environmentally focused events around the globe.
Like many of her colleagues around the world, Apple Store team member Sandra Maranhão is incredibly passionate about contributing her time to environmental causes. But she also volunteers with organizations that raise awareness about prostate cancer, help those living on the streets, and support young people in her community in Rio de Janeiro.
“Volunteering is very satisfying – the feeling of paying back to others what has been given to me is priceless,” says Maranhão, an expert at Apple VillageMall. “That’s one of the best things about working at Apple; it gives me time so I can contribute to my community. There’s a phrase that’s part of our credo about making the world a better place, and it’s something that guides me. I want the Earth to be as beautiful as it is today when my children grow up, and we can all do our part to make that possible.”
Rachel Wolf Tulley
Apple Media Helpline