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Celebration of Service

Catalyst Grant Winners


Round 1 winners


PROEM (Argentina)

Volunteer: Maria Nazarena Suarez

IBM volunteers in Argentina have developed a project to assist local economic development and social inclusion for communities in the municipality of Vicente Lopez and surrounding areas. The project has two main core strategies: to deliver training and coaching sessions to provide unemployed people the tools, skills and resources needed to find good jobs, and to support local entrepreneurs. All courses, coaching and training materials will be developed and delivered by IBMers (with NGO support) according to their area of expertise inside the company so they can bring their talent and expertise to the development of new tools and kits. The cash grant will be used to support the best and most sustainable entrepreneurs’ projects through a selection process developed by the Ministry of Labour of Argentina and NGO professionals.


Fundación Impulsar (Argentina)

Volunteer: Patricio Santirso

In this project, IBMers in Argentina, using their skills, abilities, and business experience, will mentor young entrepreneurs from May to November. This is the first project in IBM Argentina that focuses on integrating IBMers who live in different parts of the country, thus expanding the service initiative to several Argentinian regions. On June 15, IBM volunteers will conduct a workshop for young entrepreneurs on the topics of Business Strategy and Business Planning, Quality Management and Customer Service, and Networking (including social media and free tools to reach new customers in the network). The IBM volunteers must meet with their mentees, selected by Fundación Impulsar, once a month, using the SME Toolkit to advise entrepreneurs on their sustainable business management, especially in areas such as finance, accounting, international business, marketing, human resources, and insurance. The grant will support all the activities including the transportation and catering for the Celebration of Service Day workshop, an Entrepreneurship of the Year award and the closing event.


Foundation for Young Australians (Australia)

Volunteer: Daniel B. Wood

One hundred IBM volunteers in Australia are working with the Foundation for Young Australians’ Worlds of Work (WOW) program to encourage young people in Australian schools to continue their education. The program is an intervention at Year 10 (when students can legally leave school) that is designed to increase engagement in education and present young people with more options for their future. The IBM volunteers will host weekly workplace sessions for groups of 25 students and engage them in a range of activities as they mentor the students and provide advice about what it takes to succeed in the worlds of life and work. IBM volunteers also engage in the program as inspirational speakers, sharing what they have learned on their personal journey, what success is for them in their life and work, what it took for them to succeed, details of the detours, the ups and downs and how they dealt with obstacles. Funds from the Catalyst grant will help expand the WOW program to Sydney, IBM’s largest employee location in Australia.


Age Action Ireland Ltd. (Ireland)

Volunteer: Jill Browne

IBM volunteers in Ireland are offering a minimum of 16 “Silver Surfer/Getting Started” workshops over the next six months at IBM sites, public libraries, community centers, and sheltered housing complexes around Dublin, Galway and Cork. The workshops provide learning opportunities for older people, helping to bridge the digital divide, beat exclusion and isolation and increase independence and equality for older people across Ireland. Volunteers will also offer the solution “Introduce Open Source to not-for-profits” as an add-on to the program, resulting in an OS deliverable for participants of the Silver Surfer program.

The $10,000 grant will allow the partner organization, Age Action, to expand its Getting Started program and provide more mobile phone and computer training for older people across Ireland, as well as assist with the establishment of Age Action’s own dedicated computer class room – Ireland’s only Internet Café for seniors.


Zwind (Netherlands)

Volunteer: R (Rosanna) Nazir

One hundred IBM volunteers in the Netherlands are working closely with the partner organization, Zwind, and local government, to erase poverty and stimulate education programs. Their mission is build a sustainable program to equip migrant woman and men with the skills and experience necessary to take concrete steps towards becoming self-fulfilled, self-sufficient, productive, assertive and successful employees of the labor market. Volunteers will use IBM tools such as Lotus Symphony and introduce students to the Lotus collaboration tools to build a platform to communicate with each other. They will teach computer, communication and project management skills, as well as how to build websites in different languages. Following the training, Zwind will work with the students to find jobs or work experience.


Mukmu (Peru)

Volunteer: Brenda Cavero

IBM volunteers in Peru will help leverage the work that Mukmu does to support the Lima community with their culture of conservation. The IBMers will put together a park in Villa El Salvador and train students and teachers in a neighboring school how to take care of the park and natural resources, in general. The training will include the topics of responsible consumption, development of green areas and biodiversity, energy saving, and solid waste management. Volunteers will use the solutions “Help kids go green” and “Teach kids fresh water programs” to supplement the education and training Mukmu provides to communities about these issues.


Centro Pueblos Unidos (Fundación San Juan del Castillo) (Spain)

Volunteer: Gema Colino Gomez

IBMers in Madrid have partnered with Centro Pueblos Unidos, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to promoting the integration of people at risk of social exclusion mainly through training. More than 90% of the service users are immigrants. In this project, IBM volunteers created a workshop and toolkit package that provide technical skills training and a range of personal and professional skills including interview techniques, CV preparation and negotiation skills, with the help of the On Demand Community tools “Work readiness for youth” and “Train people on the Internet.” The $10,000 grant will help expand Centro Pueblos’ computer lab, allowing more people to be trained, and will be used to develop materials for the training sessions.


City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (United States - PA)

Volunteer: Deidre Cushwa

On June 15, IBM volunteers will partner with the not-for-profit Mural Arts organization in a Workforce Readiness Workshop to build on the work of their Restorative Justice Program, which incorporates the concept of justice involving victims, offenders and the community in the healing process, as an alternative to incarceration and revenge. The volunteers will present sessions on Interview Skills and Organizational Planning, followed by one-on-one coaching and mock interviews between the IBM volunteer and the Restorative Justice participant. Following the workforce readiness workshop, they will be working with the Mural Arts Program to paint a mural, consistent with the mission to use art, to connect the IBM volunteers, the Restorative Justice participants and the community in a positive manner. Grant funds will be used to offset expenses associated with hosting the Workforce Readiness Workshop, expand the Reading Companion initiatives and offset technology expenses needed to support on-going workforce readiness skills development.

Round 2 winners


Women 2000 (Argentina)

Volunteer: Analia Daniela Baeza

IBM women professionals are sharing life experiences and job skills with low-income women in Buenos Aires, who are motivated to succeed but hampered by economic and social circumstances. An IBM Catalyst Grant is helping the nonprofit Women 2000 in its mission to provide such self-starting women with financing and advice for micro-enterprises. After committing to at least eight hours for preparation, IBMers with project management, marketing and other skills are leading half-day meetings with fledgling entrepreneurs identified by Women 2000, on use of the IBM-sponsored SME ToolKit as well as their own experiences with areas like sales strategy, customer orientation, communications skills, marketing, and project management. Women 2000 also plans to evaluate the volunteers' presentation content and methodology to incorporate them in the nonprofit's ongoing training program.


Centennial Parklands Foundation (Australia)

Volunteer: Mirek Rzadkowski

One hundred IBM volunteers are helping the Centennial Parklands Foundation in Sydney, Australia develop a range of new environmental and sustainable programs that will be facilitated with the Education Precinct, outreach programs or volunteering opportunities. The development potential of these new initiatives will be limited only by the imagination, enthusiasm and capacity of IBM volunteers, Centennial Parklands officers and the participating community. It will aim to use existing IBM resources such as activities and On Demand Community environmental activities.

The Centennial Parklands Foundation is an independent charitable organization with the aim of ensuring that the Centennial Parklands environment continues to be enjoyed now and by future generations.

The grant support will enable the NGO to purchase and install a Wi-Fi hub at the Education Precinct, along with a Smart Board and, potentially, a number of laptops. This will enable IBMers and Centennial Parklands officers to fully realize the potential of the Education Precinct as a locally accessible environmental facility that engages the catchment community. The opportunity for individuals and groups to better understand and participate in the management of their local environment may inspire longer term involvement.


Solar Meninos de Luz (Brazil)

Volunteer: Lavinia Frota Flach

Working with a nonprofit school/health care clinic in an impoverished neighborhood, IBMers in Rio de Janeiro are pulling together to redesign the organization's website to increase its effectiveness for education and fund-raising. Using computer equipment available through an earlier IBM Community Grant, IBMers will analyze and enhance the Solar Meninos de Luz website. They are also hosting workshops as part of the Celebration of Service for students using IBM On Demand Community solutions such as TryScience, Puppy Palace and Fresh Water Protection. The Catalyst Grant will fund a web designer to continue improvements to the website, and IBM volunteers will translate the site from Portuguese to English, helping the school communicate with other corporations about its mission to provide education and health services in two neighborhoods plagued until recently by drug dealers.


Association for Assistance to Disabled Children (Brazil)

Volunteer: Marcelo Zuccas

IBMers with a diverse mix of technical and business skills are testing their ability to improve operational efficiency at a Sao Paolo facility that works with disabled children, hoping this is just the beginning of long-lasting volunteer relationships. More than a hundred IBMers have signed up for the Day of Caring with the Association for Assistance to Disabled Children, designed to help automate a small retail store operated by the Association for Assistance to Disabled Children in Sao Paolo. They'll also help integrate the association's manufacturing facilities at several locations. The Catalyst Grant will be used to help optimize inventory utilization, services quality and other efficiencies. The Day of Caring will introduce volunteers to children serviced by the association, and begin a long-term relationship between IBMers and association staff. By helping the association control costs, the volunteers hope to help staff improve service at all locations around Brazil, reducing wait times for therapy, surgery, prostheses and other needs.


Alzheimer's Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (ASORC) (Canada)

Volunteer: Rudi Loepp

IBM and other volunteers will work from June 15 - Oct. 15 training ASORC staff and volunteers to teach caregivers how to use the Internet to find dementia resources specific to their needs. Other IBMers will help build an e-learning framework for project management workshops for health care workers, volunteers and support staff, using the On Demand Community solutions, Help people use the Web and Share project management skills. The Catalyst Grant will aid in a web redesign for broader, easier access, and help develop E-Learning courses that will allow ASORC and similar agencies to reach far wider audiences with training on dementia care now available only face-to-face. The grant will also allow ASORCO to train volunteers and staff in the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter to develop online peer support groups. ASORC is one of 38 Alzheimer's societies across Ontario, and it envisioned that the project's ambitious goals are repeatable across Canada and the rest of North America.


Ottawa Food Bank (Canada)

Volunteer: Aly Mawani

While most IBMers supporting the Ottawa Food Bank are rolling up their sleeves to help with planting, weeding and harvesting, others are using their project management and other technical skills to help food bank staff and volunteers maintain their focus on feeding hungry families. More than 100 volunteers will participate in a June 15 Day of Service at the Roots and Shoots Farm, helping with crops of potatoes, carrots and onions. Others are assessing the Food Bank's systems for recruiting, tracking and assigning volunteers, to allow the nonprofit to more quickly mobilize volunteers for future gleaning projects and other activities that would benefit from efficient use of volunteers. With IBMers addressing that critical need, the Ottawa Food Bank will be able to use its Catalyst Grant to support its primary mission: providing an emergency supply of food to reduce hunger in the Ottawa community.


Destination ImagiNation (Canada)

Volunteer: Judy Wityszyn

More than 400 IBMers have pledged to visit classrooms throughout greater Toronto, delivering a "volunteer-in-a-box" kit of activities designed to foster student problem-solving and innovative thinking skills. Eight IBM volunteers helped create the kit, in partnership with the nonprofit Destination ImagiNation (DI) intended for delivery to sixth grade students. Following DI's "train the trainer" orientation, all other IBM volunteers received training and supplies at six IBM locations. The Catalyst Grant allowed DI to draw on its existing educational materials to package exercises that would be easy and fun for the volunteers to learn and facilitate. The grant also covers the cost of workshop materials and training for administrators, teachers and training at participating schools.


Our Children Foundation (Fundación Nuestros Hijos) (Chile)

Volunteer: Gonzalo Cerda

IBMers in Santiago are motivating children with cancer to compete and learn through the annual Lego Robotics Championship. The Catalyst Grant to Our Children Foundation is also paying for the children's entry into the national competition in Valparaiso in October, and enhancing the quality of their robotics and computer equipment. The project focuses on schools within hospitals where kids are being treated for cancer. More than 50 IBMers are helping them design, construct, decorate, program and compete with their robots. The grant is also being used to purchase enrichment materials for hospital science and art rooms and to help finance a bus to help the students continue their studies.


Hongzhi Middle School (China)

Volunteer: Cao Nan

Beijing IBMers are on a year-long mission to mentor academically gifted students of the city's Hongzhi Middle School, which recruits students from poor families who typically have little knowledge of career options. More than a hundred volunteers will draw on their professional skills along with the IBM On Demand Community solutions including Mentor a student, TryScience and Internet safety. Mentors will visit the school on a weekly basis, meeting with students aged 17-18, drawing on individual technical backgrounds and personal interests. A special day of Engineers Week-based activities is scheduled for June 15. The Catalyst Grant will be used to organize social activities and training sessions for students and their families, to increase their knowledge of education and career options. Besides career options, one particular goal of the mentoring project is to prepare students for China's National College Entrance Examination.


Bldnaa Foundation for Community Development (Egypt)

Volunteer: Hatim Mohammed

One hundred IBM volunteers in Egypt are collaborating with the Bldnaa Foundation for Community Development to create a dedicated hub or call center to provide the necessary technical support to Egyptian NGOs and civil organizations. The call center will allow the NGOs to focus completely on their vital role of providing community services. It will cut IT expenses, build a powerful knowledge base for the common problems facing NGOs, and efficiently utilize the volunteers' time to support more NGOs with better scheduling and optimized coverage. The partner organization will be responsible for the sustainment and future enrichment of the call center and provide a hosting location for the call center operations. Funds from the Catalyst award will give a push start to the call-center initiation with required hardware and software and will cover part of the early operation's expenses.


TILO (Technology for Improved Learning Outcomes) (Egypt)

Volunteer: Hassan Shaheen

Volunteers in Cairo, Egypt are working with TILO, an NGO associated with the Ministry of Education, to develop and introduce an overall system for using technology to improve teaching and learning. The funds from the grant will enable TILO to expand their program to four new schools in Cairo and provide each with an "IT suitcase" so all teachers can introduce new content and student centered learning in classrooms with the TILO Digital Resources package. As part of the project IBM volunteers will provide training in the four schools on IBM Reading Companion, KidSmart Early Learning program, as well as computer literacy training and basic IT skills for teachers. This project will create a role model school, and could potentially be implemented in all 40,000 Egyptian schools.


Berufsverband der Datenschützer (Professional Association of Privacy Advocates) (Germany)

Volunteer: Tanja Schmid

German youngsters are enthusiastic users of social media, but their widespread indifference to privacy issues leaves them vulnerable. That indifference also sets the agenda for one of IBM Germany's highest community service goals: Teach youngsters to protect their privacy through a program called "Manage Your Identity!" Working with the nonprofit professional association of corporate and regulatory data protection officers, Berufsverband der Datenschützer, IBMers developed a program to educate youngsters on the safe rules of online conduct - and they're using the Centennial Celebration of Service to recruit volunteer IBMers, their families, business partners and customers. Already more than 200 IBMers and retirees have signed on through the On Demand Community Volunteer Activity Management tool, and organizers hope to reach more than 25,000 students in 1,000 classrooms by the end of the centennial year. Volunteers work with their own children's schools or others identified through Engineers Week and other means, and the information is delivered through webinars using IBM Lotus/Lotus Connections. The Catalyst Grant is being used to build the privacy association's IT resources and in general broaden the use of the "Manage Your Identity!" campaign.


Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Chuk Hang Complex (Hong Kong)

Volunteer: Sinko Choy

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Chuk Hang Complex is devoted to help senior citizens enjoy dignified and happy old age through a range of community support and residential services. In a special day of service, 130 volunteers from IBM Hong Kong will visit 370 elderly people in the Complex and conduct classes to help them acquire basic computer skills, learn how to use digital photography for daily communication with their families and friends, and have fun through other activities.

This project requires a mix of skills from the IBM volunteers including project management, IT skills, and communications. The classes on Information Communication Technology (ICT) will help bridge the digital divide, which is a local issue in the elderly sector.

The day of service is just the beginning of IBM volunteer activities with the Complex. The Catalyst Grant award will be used to establish a computer center with Internet access in the Complex to further promote computer literacy among the senior citizens and encourage them to reach out to the world online. The computer room will also serve as an IT training room for hundreds of service users.


Hong Kong Association of Career Masters and Guidance Masters (Hong Kong)

Volunteer: Cindy Fung

Two hundred volunteers from IBM Kong Kong are working with the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters (HKACMGM) on Exploring Future@IBM. HKACMGM provides professional support for all front-line guidance and careers guidance teachers in secondary schools of Hong Kong. The project has two components: a series of two-hour workshops designed to inspire students on their career development through invaluable career-related experience and the production of a resource package for local secondary schools, based on the content of the workshops.

The grant will be used for the production of the resource package, including 1000 copies of a video recording of IBM volunteers sharing their work experience with students and teachers to disseminate positive work values and ethics, and worksheets designed with content related to the video clips. A dissemination seminar will be launched to introduce the resource package and strategies for effective delivery in schools.


Retina India (India)

Volunteer: Mukula Joglekar

India is home to about 23 million blind people, the largest number in the world, with an additional 50 million visually impaired. It is believed that 26% of these people are children and a significant number of these children are students. One hundred volunteers will be involved in a project with the NGO partner, Retina India, to create an online interactive database where people who are willing to be a scribe or reader for a visually impaired or physically handicapped student will be able to register, and students needing a scribe or reader can quickly find the appropriate volunteer. This website will also be used to increase awareness about retinal diseases and related resources. IBM volunteers will be involved in the technical solution design and implementation, participate in launch events on June 15th in cities across India, and register as scribes and readers. The grant funds will be used for Web hosting costs, to create campaign materials and to support the launch events.


INTI College Indonesia (Indonesia)

Volunteer: Indira Wahyu Prihartini

More than 100 IBM Indonesia employees are helping to provide primary school teachers with IT training. Collaborating with DKI Jakarta Education Bureau and INTI College of Indonesia, more than 1500 teachers will receive training in three sessions offered from December 2010 though July 2011.

This project leverages the IBM volunteers' leadership skills since each volunteer must individually handle a large number of teachers as they train them on IT Basic, Lotus Symphony, Internet and Information System for School. It allows the volunteers to give back to their community and help increase the quality of education in Indonesia by developing IT knowledge. Funds from the grant will help primary school teachers simplify their work through the use of the new software programs.


Indonesian Childhood Cancer Foundation (Indonesia)

Volunteer: Nico Steffanus Sutikno

In collaboration with the Indonesian Childhood Cancer Foundation, One Day Fun with Cancer Children is a volunteer program bringing together 100 IBM Indonesia employees with 100 young cancer patients who must remain in the hospital for at least three months. This is an IBM care program to provide fun learning and motivation for the children through social activities. It helps make the children happy and forget about their serious illness, while creating a better learning environment in the hospital. Through the donation of the KidSmart Early Learning computer, the children, and their families, can learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) long after the one-day event.

This grant will help improve education quality for cancer children who cannot go to school for formal education.


Seoul Rehabilitation Center On Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (Korea)

Volunteer: HyungHwa Jang

For more than 20 years, IBMers have volunteered their time and skills with students and teachers at the Seoul Rehabilitation Center, using increasingly sophisticated technology to help residents express themselves through computer-aided drawing. IBM's Centennial Year's Celebration of Service is proving to be an ideal time for boosting that relationship with an infusion of new volunteers and new technology. IBM and the center have been honored over the years for their collaboration, highlighted by annual drawing contests that strengthen community understanding of people with disabilities while helping the artists reach their highest potential and build useful job skills with applications like PowerPoint and Excel. During this centennial year, IBMers, family members and university students received training by center staff, then helped students produce computer-aided artwork that went on display this spring at Kwangkyo Gallery in Seoul, visited by an expected audience of nearly 300,000 people. In addition to training new volunteers, the Catalyst Grant will be used to buy graphics tablets, scanners and related equipment that can be used at disability centers throughout Seoul and other areas, increasing students' ability to express their feelings through art and expanding the pool of artists.


Ti-Ratana Welfare Homes (Malaysia)

Volunteer: Lee Chong Yih

What begins as a flurry of fun, green activities for the 200 children of Ti-Ratana orphanage will quickly evolve into wave after wave of carefully crafted experiments and computer training led by IBM Malaysia volunteers as they "Go Green with Kids." More than 200 volunteers have signed up for the year-long commitment to raise environmental awareness and introduce green technology to Ti-Ratana kids and staff. Following the June 15 kickoff introducing Smarter Planet and Reduce/Reuse/Recycle concepts, teams of 8-10 volunteers will visit on a weekly basis. The volunteers will follow a road map of activities designed to draw on their diverse skills including IT, finance, math, engineering, science studies, marketing and management. The Catalyst Grant will be used to introduce orphans and staff to composting and for computer equipment needed for teaching green technology and internet use. It will also allow field trips to parks and to conduct tree-planting activities.

Stowarzyszenie Wiosna (Poland)

Volunteer: Anna Paluch

SP is a Polish charity campaign run by the NGO Stowarzyszenie Wiosna. The campaign's purpose is to ensure that assistance is delivered to those most in need of help in 300 locations in the country. Over 120 IBM volunteers will work to test new features of SP's Internet software, enabling better organization of the campaign. The IBM employees will create a SP regional team and organize training to prepare volunteers in management skills and develop soft competencies (in communication). They will introduce the SP software operation and promote activities to encourage both volunteers and donors to participate in the SP project. This software will become a working environment for 8,000 volunteers throughout Poland, as well as approximately 8,000 donors and even more supporters.

Monies received from the Catalyst award will cover the cost of a series of trainings for the NGO's volunteers. It will also be used to purchase needed computer hardware and software, and to promote the Internet-based system, enabling smart, effective and accurate help.


Toastmasters Singapore (Singapore)

Volunteer: Prashanth Menon

Through a three-way partnership with IBM Singapore, Toastmasters and local schools, 50 IBM volunteers and 50 Toastmasters volunteers will establish a program to teach public speaking and leadership skills to students 16 years and above. The IBM volunteers will undergo an intensive one-session program with Toastmasters on effective public speaking skills. In turn, these 50 trained IBM volunteers will commit to market this program to two students each and mentor the students through the successful completion of two training sessions. Each student will use the newly acquired skills to recruit at least one additional student into the program and work with Toastmasters to sustain their skills. The volunteers will share the soft skills of public speaking, leadership interview presentation, public relations and media networking, using the latest presentation technology and the On Demand Community solution, "Sharing project management skills."

Funds from the Catalyst grant award will be used to cover the costs of the training sessions, including education materials, refreshments, seminar rooms, and transportation.


Special Olympics Madrid (Spain)

Volunteer: Maria Luisa Medina Del Rio

More than 100 volunteers from IBM Spain are working with Special Olympics Madrid to help them deliver three main events of adapted sports for children and adults with mental disabilities, on May 27, June 15 and June 17. In addition, IBM volunteers will become teachers for a group of 20 people with disabilities to help them become IT users at a basic level. They plan to replicate the workshop every month and encourage other companies to join them. Funds from the grant will make it possible for this NGO to purchase more computers and create their own IT classroom, thus supporting more users.


Lambeth City Learning Centre (United Kingdom)

Volunteer: Mark Cooper

The IBM Lambeth Schools Robo-Challenge 2011 is a signature UK Centennial Celebration of Service activity. Its aim is to introduce children to technology through fun, hands-on tasks involving simple software programming skills. It is also a way to promote technology literacy and its importance to children and their parents, and to support schools in delivering the technology curriculum. The Challenge consists of a headline event run in partnership with the London borough of Lambeth, The Lambeth Schools and IBM, and a series of mini one-day school workshops, utilizing the resources created for the main event. These events will engage more than 130 IBM employees. Robo-Challenge showcases practical science activities and gives confidence to teachers by introducing them to technology in a fun and creative way that will ultimately lead to greater impact in children's technological education. The Catalyst award will enable the NGO to purchase new Lego Robotics kits and extend the project to additional schools.


Digital Unite (United Kingdom)

Volunteer: Colin Crook

June 15 is "Silver Surfers Day" for UK IBMers intent on introducing the elderly in sheltered housing to basic computer skills that IBMers take for granted. Working with Digital Unite, small groups of volunteers will spread out to nursing homes and other senior enclaves to teach concepts such as e-mail, Facebook, YouTube and web browsing, using the On Demand solution, Train People on the Internet. No specialized skills are required. Silver Surfers Day is a one-day commitment, but organizer Colin Crook finds that many volunteers will also commit to a longer period, and many senior students share their new knowledge with others. The Catalyst Grant will also be used by Digital United for computer equipment at some locations, with IBMers helping with setup and installation.


Comic Relief UK (United Kingdom)

Volunteer: Barry McGugan

Approximately 130 volunteers, at least half of them IBM Geenock employees, worked with Comic Relief, a major charity based in the UK that strives to create a just world, free from poverty, with millions of pounds raised through fundraising campaigns. The volunteers provided telephony support to Comic Relief for a major Telethon fundraising event, utilizing the IBM Call Center facilities, professional knowledge and the expertise at the disposal of the IBM employees. The volunteers took calls and processed donations over the phone at the Call Center, a process that took several weeks of preparation, working with Comic Relief and their support teams. Testing was done to make sure the IBM IT systems were compatible and that the calls could be received and payment details accurately entered into the system, allowing Comic Relief to collect pledges of money without any difficulty. The intention was to provide support on the evening for this worthwhile charity, but also to build team spirit and a sense of community among IBMers and the wider community.

The success of the event was quite phenomenal. Comic Relief across the UK raised over £74m through this event. Donations taken via the Greenock Centre amounted to £78,512 through 2,733 calls. Grant funds will be used to develop a long term relationship with Comic Relief to continue supporting local charities and community projects with the skilled team of volunteers.


GRID Alternatives (United States - California)

Volunteer: Jia (Violet) Le

More than 120 California IBMers and retirees, along with students and job trainees in Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area are installing solar electric systems in the homes of six low-income families on June 14 and 15. The Catalyst Grant is being used for materials for solar installations by Grid Alternatives, whose mission is to train and lead community volunteers and job trainees from all walks of life to install solar electric systems with low-income homeowners. The organization is supplying all tools, safety equipment and instruction for the Celebration of Service projects. A webinar is planned prior to the installation projects to provide basic information about solar power.


Ability Building Center, Inc. (United States - Minnesota)

Volunteer: Steve Kann

The Ability Building Center has a long, fond relationship with IBM Rochester and its retirees, who help the organization in its mission to enable workers with disabilities to refurbish used computer technologies for other individuals with disabilities and the organizations that support them.
Six to eight IBM volunteers regularly work side by side with ABC employees, and the Celebration of Service is providing new opportunities for IBMers to use their special talents to improve center efficiencies:
• IBM logistics/manufacturing engineers will help set up production flows for incoming inventory, manufacturing, waste flows and distribution.
• Marketing/finance staff will develop a new center marketing plan, sales follow-up procedures and outreach strategy.
• Software and networking engineers will assist with the center access and manage new computer images utilizing IBM educational and other software.
• General volunteers will help ABC clients refurbish more computers and aid in distribution.
The IBM Catalyst Grant will enable ABC to expand its operations, including the output from 10 refurbished computers per week to 25.


Women's Enterprise Development Center (United States - New York)

Volunteer: Andy Monshaw

Nearly 200 Westchester County IBMers will conduct "speed mentoring" sessions about their business expertise with small business owners, most of them minority or economically disadvantaged women. The volunteers will follow up on that June 15 Day of Service by serving as mentors to the participants for the next 100 days, by email and phone. Among the volunteers is IBM senior Vice President and Group Executive Ginni Rometty, who will also deliver a keynote speech in advance of speed mentoring. IBM is partnering on the project with Women's Enterprise Development Center (WEDC), a not-for-profit microenterprise development agency. The $10,000 Catalyst Grant will be used to improve WEDC's organizational capabilities and for software to provide business training Webinars. It will also fund the filming of workshops and seminars that would be added to the Webinar series, and the creation of an on-line library and other tools to improve the agency's on-line presence. The speed mentoring clients will also be trained on free IBM tools designed for small business, the SME Toolkit and Supplier Connection.


North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (United States - North Carolina)

Volunteer: Darryl Bloch

Fifty North Carolina Girl Scouts are paired with 50 IBM Research Triangle Park volunteers to learn to identify and remove invasive plant species in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science's 46-acre restored Prairie Ridge natural area. An IBM Catalyst Grant covers the cost of transportation, training and supplies for the effort, led by museum education staff. Participants will walk the prairie trails, weed out unwanted plants like kudzu and Japanese stilt grass, and replace them with native flowers and trees that will provide wildlife with food and shelter. The Invasive Species Citizen Science Investigation (Invasive Species CSI) will teach the scouts and IBMers to become environmental stewards of the property. Service leader for the project is Darryl Bloch, RPT's Site Environmental Engineer who is the coordinator of the 130-member IBM RTP Green Team, a volunteer cadre of employees passionate about the environment.


CIS Wake (United States – North Carolina)

Volunteer: Brandon Hurter

The April 16, 2011, tornadoes that devastated parts of North Carolina created the need for Operation: Restore Hope, a year-long collaboration by groups supporting the families of school children in districts near IBM Raleigh. More than 100 IBMers have made the operation a part of their Centennial Celebration of Service, pledging to mitigate the impact of the disaster on students of Powell GT Magnet Elementary School. IBM's supporting Catalyst Grant will be used by "Communities of Wake County" (CIS Wake) to implement Operation: Restore Hope at Powell and other county schools in need. The grant will cover the cost of needs assessments, administrative costs of mentoring, and related community meetings. A few IBMers will help with the assessments or physical rebuilding of damaged buildings, but most will serve as mentors and tutors. And the June 15 Day of Service has evolved into an opportunity for IBM volunteers to meet the students they'll be mentoring, and to conduct a group cleanup.


Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina, Inc. (United States – North Carolina)

Volunteer: Andrew Stafford

Junior Achievement (JA) is working with one hundred IBM volunteers from North Carolina in a unique and innovative approach for the adoption of three elementary schools across the Triangle Region. IBM employees will implement the JA program, Our City, in conjunction with an IBM module aligned with IBM's Smarter Planet initiative. The Our City program allows third-grade students to study careers, the skills people need for those careers, how businesses contribute to a community, and how communities organize into zones. IBM volunteers will teach five JA activities for the Our City curriculum with one IBM Smarter Cities module on how cities plan for efficiency through the use of technology. The program builds upon JA's ability to provide educators and students with real-world experiences beyond the classroom, while exposing students of all backgrounds and abilities to the many career opportunities that await them in the local job market and to educate and inspire them to succeed in the global economy.

Funds from the Catalyst award will allow JA to focus staff time and resources on supporting students and educators, developing and refining programs, and building relationships with schools and businesses, instead of on fund-raising activities and events.


Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital (United States - Ohio)

Volunteer: Cynthia Andrews

Over the three-day period June 15-17, IBMers in Wizard of Oz costumes are treating chronically ill patients of the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital to a meticulously planned afternoon of reading, story telling, crafts and activities using IBM's TryScience and KidSmart Early Learning Program. Each child will receive a new Wizard of Oz book and a second children's book to take home, and feast on "heart healthy" cupcakes and other snacks. The affair is being documented in a "project run book" so the clinic can host similar events in the future with IBM and other volunteers. IBM project managers are documenting the day's tasks, guidance, project plan, suggested community contacts and a recommended process for future volunteers to engage with the Cleveland Clinic Volunteer Services Department. The $10K Catalyst Grant will be used for supplies and costs associated with hosting the afternoon event and others planned by IBM volunteers, also utilizing TryScience and 15 IBM Young Explorer computers donated to the clinic this year through another IBM grant.


Girls Incorporated of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (United States - Pennsylvania)

Volunteer: Laurie Saft

The Smarter Philly Girls project is a terrific example of volunteers from George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and IBM coming together to bring a positive approach and enthusiasm for science and technology to 50+ middle and high school girls in the under-served community of North Philadelphia. Over 100 volunteers are involved, including IBM employees and volunteers from the broader community. The project will take advantage of the Solar Car, Marble Ramp, Watson Demo and networking modules to provide meaningful technology content to the middle and high school girls. In addition, some volunteers will act as ongoing mentors to reinforce the importance of student leadership.

Given the geographically expansive region and distributed pockets of underserved populations, the Catalyst Grant funding will help reach new audiences of girls by covering the cost of transportation between communities, facility fees where events are hosted, as well as activity kit supplies and food for the working sessions.


Coppell Independent School District (United States -Texas)

Volunteer: Jo Ann Hill

For nine years, IBM volunteers have used their EXITE summer technology camp and related in-class activities to increase middle school girls' interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) within the Coppell Independent School District. This year's camp and related in-school activities are benefiting from an infusion of new Celebration of Service Activity Kits and a $10K Catalyst Grant to purchase sophisticated new tools to boost girls' interest in environmental issues, programmable electronics, and collaborative learning. After a kickoff involving more than 100 IBM volunteers on June 15, the first day of EXITE Camp, the new activities and equipment will be used by IBM volunteers during Engineers Week and other classroom visits in an ongoing effort to promote interest in STEM careers. School district staff also plan to share results of the cooperative project with other educators in research papers and academic conferences.


The Austin Project (TAP) (United States - Texas)

Volunteer: Kimberly Schmid

As part of an ongoing effort to use their technical skills to improve their community, IBM project managers in Austin, TX, are now concentrating on ways to improve life circumstances in Dove Springs, one of the region's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Teams of volunteers are helping with gardening, computer training and general cleanup of the neighborhood during a June 15 Day of Service. But the longer range IBM goal is to use project management and web expertise to tackle Dove Springs' most vexing problems: obesity and personal safety. The Catalyst Grant will be used by The Austin Project to fund a newly defined Health Initiative program that addresses both issues. It also demonstrates basic principles of IBM's Smarter Planet agenda in health. IBMers will oversee research and development of the project and support it with an interactive website. IBM volunteers will be called on again in February 2012 to help launch the Health Initiative.


People for Puget Sound (United States - Washington)

Volunteer: Janna K. Jacobson

IBMers in the far northwest corner of the United States are embarking on a June 15 Day of Service project intended as both a one-time cleanup of well-loved but environmentally degraded natural areas of Puget Sound and the beginning of a collaborative partnership between IBM and People For Puget Sound. With guidance from the Seattle-based nonprofit environmental agency, more than 100 IBMers, their families and friends will break into groups to remove invasive vegetation, spread mulch, pick up garbage and assist with other restoration tasks at five locations. The hope is that some volunteers getting their hands so dirty on June 15 will be inspired to long-term, repeat volunteerism for the protection and restoration of Puget Sound - the natural environment of salmon, seals, herons, eagles, seals, bats - and hundreds of thousands of humans in the heavily populated region. The Catalyst grant will cover the costs of planning, equipment and supplies and additional stewardship activities after June 15.


PROJOVEN (Uruguay)

Volunteer: Olga Mattos

IBMers in Uruguay are using the Celebration of Service as the catalyst for an ambitious new program to guide underprivileged young adults on how to enter the labor market. More than 100 IBMers will lead training sessions and workshops organized by Projoven, a nonprofit that works with nonprofits across the region. The Catalyst Grant will cover all aspects of the IBMers' work with 50 trainees, including development of new training kits, transportation and other costs for the students and computer school scholarships for the three best-performing students. Projoven hopes IBM involvement will persuade other corporations to participate in a job-training effort involving more than 2,500 young people. IBMers will draw on their specific job skills in areas like finance, marketing, sales and quality management and show their mentees how to prepare resumes and other aspects of job search. They'll also use On Demand Community solutions including "Work readiness for youth," "Share project management skills," and "Help people to use the Internet."


Research Center for Family Health & Community Development (Vietnam - Hanoi)

Volunteer: Duong Kieu Oanh

IBMers from six different IBM business organizations have banded together to teach Vietnamese youngsters safe ways to use the Internet, social media and online games. Working with two schools in Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Mihn City, the IBMers began in early 2011 by conducting a needs assessment with students at two schools in Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Mihn city, then developed a training manual and educational materials for the online safety presentations. To date more than 100 volunteers have presented seminars at the four schools to more than 1,500 students, with sessions dealing with on-line risks, prevention of sexual abuse, and privacy issues related to social network and online games. The research center and IBM volunteers will use the Catalyst Grant to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, refine their deliverables and expand availability to remaining students at the four schools and to additional schools.