Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Corporate News: Xerox Social Service Leave Program

A heart-warming story of corporate, I'm not joking.

Two Xerox Illinois Employees Begin Paid 'Social Service Leave' In April from

In April, two Xerox Corporation employees will put their business savvy to work and begin to devote themselves full-time to philanthropic endeavors – by working to bolster the financial resources necessary to help prevent child abuse and to develop reading and computer literacy programs for children. The two will take fully paid nine-month sabbaticals from Xerox as part of the company's 2005 Social Service Leave program.

The leaves of absence are underwritten by The Xerox Foundation, which has granted sabbaticals to 461 employees since the Social Service Leave program began in 1971. This year eight Xerox employees nationwide will work for six to 12 months on community projects of their choice -- while their salary and benefits continue to be paid by Xerox. The program leverages the skills of Xerox employees in one-time projects that are designed to leave a lasting legacy with nonprofit organizations.

The employees who begin their leaves this month are both in Illinois: Dan Reynolds, who will volunteer with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois in Springfield, and Tevis Taylor, who will serve the Delta Child Development Center in East St. Louis. A third Illinois-based employee, Bill Walsh, began his yearlong service leave in January to work with the Humanitarian Service Project in West Chicago.

Prevent Child Abuse Illinois Reynolds, a sales executive at Xerox, begins his nine-month sabbatical with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois on April 1. Coincidentally, April is recognized as both National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Volunteer Month. The nonprofit statewide agency that Reynolds will support is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Its programs help prepare and support parents so they can better care for their children, and help educate parents, grandparents, neighbors, baby sitters and others about situations that can be harmful to children.

Reynolds will develop and implement a strategic financial plan to secure private-sector funding, better support operations and build a cash reserve. Reynolds is a long-time volunteer with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, having served as a board member since 1997.

Delta Child Development Center Taylor, also a Xerox sales executive, will begin her Social Service Leave on April 1 as well, to volunteer full-time with the Delta Child Development Center. The center provides child-care services and educational assistance to children and families in the East St. Louis area.

Taylor will help create an early reading program for preschoolers and a computer literacy program for older children, as well as create a Web site for the agency. She will also design a computer-training program for parents to provide an introduction to computers and how to use them. Taylor has been volunteering and fund-raising to help build the Delta Child Development Center for 12 years.

About Xerox Community Investments The Xerox Social Service Leave program is believed to be the oldest of its kind in American business. Xerox estimates that through the collective efforts of Social Service Leave participants, it has donated about a half-million volunteer hours over the past 33 years.

Social Service Leave is just one of the ways that Xerox people support their communities; for example, about 15,000 Xerox people volunteer on projects each year through their local Xerox Community Involvement Program. Corporate philanthropy is a fundamental component of Xerox's corporate responsibility and citizenship efforts, which include environment and health programs, minority- and women-owned supplier programs, diversity and employee support, and business ethics and corporate governance initiatives.

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