Portland—Technology leader Intel participated in a successful demo of Compassion Force, Medical Teams International’s new volunteer program kitting events. Around 60 Intel employees came to Medical Teams’ headquarters in Tigard, Ore., to pack more than 500 health essential kits for the local homeless population.

Compassion Force invites businesses to assemble health essentials kits. Medical Teams then distributes the kits to refugees globally and vulnerable populations locally. These kits contain health essentials to prevent illnesses and provide some normalcy during times of crisis. Contents of the kits include toothbrushes, Band-Aids, wash cloths, soap, shower gel, floss, combs, and more.

Medical Teams piloted the Compassion Force kitting events this spring, The program serves two needs: build kits for vulnerable populations around the world and boost employee satisfaction through meaningful community engagement. New research shows employees want more company-driven community engagement opportunities at work, and many companies are using community outreach opportunities to help attract top talent.

How Compassion Force works:

  • Companies sign up as an event sponsor, covering the costs of the supplies as well as shipping, which comes to roughly $10,000.
  • Up to 100 of the company’s employees can participate in the kitting events, which last two and a half hours. The events will be held at the company’s headquarters or at one of Medical Teams’ distribution centers in Tigard, Ore. or Redmond, Wash.
  • Medical Teams International coordinates the shipping and distribution of the kits to people in need around the world.

Donna Maleki, Intel’s community engagement manager, said the event was a way to give back to the community while providing an important outreach opportunity for employees.

“It’s an opportunity to increase employee engagement around a meaningful conversation,” Maleki said. “Our internal research has shown that employees who are engaged in community efforts like these are more satisfied with their work.”

Employees from Intel participate in Medical Teams’ first Compassion Force event, packing health and hygiene kits for people impacted by disasters and extreme poverty.

The success of the Intel demo paved the way for Cambia Health Solutions, which will be the first company to fully sponsor a Compassion Force kitting event, scheduled for July. A 23-year partner of Medical Teams, Cambia has supported projects in the Pacific Northwest, Uganda and elsewhere.

“The dedication, passion and energy of our employee volunteers is truly inspiring,” said Alison Arella, assistant director of corporate social responsibility for Cambia. “The volunteer programs we support, alongside our nonprofit partners, are critical to creating long-term health of our nonprofit partners in the communities we serve around the world. Volunteering with Medical Teams is the most rewarding way Cambia employees give back. We look forward to promoting future kitting events so more employees have the opportunity to engage with such an impactful organization.”

Cambia and Intel aren’t alone in their findings. Employer-led volunteer initiatives are part of a growing trend, driven by an increasingly younger workforce.

A 2018 report from Giving USA and Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found younger employees wanted opportunities to give back using their time, skills and talents. Among millennials, who make up a third of the U.S. workforce, 79 percent say they want to work for an employer that cares about its contributions to society, while 76 percent say an employer’s social commitments affect workplace satisfaction, according to the report.

The kits are making an immediate impact In the Northwest. Homeless in Portland and Salem were the first recipients of the kits, which Medical Teams distributed to patients of Medical Team’s free dental care through the Mobile Dental program.

In the future, kits will be shipped to international locations like Guatemala, Ukraine and others. In partnership with aid organizations that respond to domestic disasters, the kits will be distributed elsewhere in the U.S. following a natural disaster.

For more information about Compassion Force, or to book a kitting event, visit: https://www.medicalteams.org/kitting/

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