In 2009, Symetra Corporation did something unusual in profit-driven corporate America—it offered its employees a day off to volunteer. Over the course of a week, 130 employees volunteered at seven Puget Sound-area non-profits. Since then the annual event has grown in size and scope. This year, nearly 500 “Symetrans” helped at 38 projects across the country.
Four of those projects were in Kirkland, where 60 Symetra employees, many of them Kirkland residents, removed invasive blackberries at Cotton Hill and Juanita Bay Parks, cleaned the kitchen at the Kirkland Senior Center, and labeled storm drains. At Cotton Hill Park alone, volunteers cleared 4000 square feet of invasive plants that were smothering native trees and shrubs.
The Symetra program not only provides much-needed help to local non-profits, but it gives employees a chance to take a break from the office and connect with their colleagues. I hesitate to use that dreaded buzzword “team building,” but it’s true that hanging out and having fun together makes life back at the office more fun too.
Since the program began, Symetra employees have contributed 5,000 Week of Service hours in their communities.
Symetra is also a much-appreciated sponsor of Kirkland events, including the Summer Concerts.
Thank you to Symetra for setting this great corporate example of philanthropy and business-community partnership!
To learn more about this year’s Week of Service and other community programs, visit www.facebook.com/Symetra and www.symetra.com/community. Symetra Financial Corporation is a financial services company based in Bellevue.