Harris Corporation Pays It Forward through Mission Possible Challenge that Benefits Local Charities
Brevard County Employees Log 49,000 Volunteer Hours; Raise Awareness and Funds for Local Non-Profit Organizations
MELBOURNE, Fla., June 2008 — Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) recently honored employees at the VIP Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, an annual reception that recognizes company employee volunteers in Brevard. Harris Brevard employees logged 49,000 volunteer hours and donated more than $1 million to the United Way of Brevard County in the past year.
Last year, Harris implemented a new Volunteer Reporting Tool to enable employees to log and track their volunteer time. The total 65,000 hours logged last year by all Harris employees around the world represent some $6.5 million in volunteer labor that benefited a variety of community and charitable organizations across the nation and around the world.
The recognition event was held in conjunction with National Volunteer Week. In addressing all Harris employee volunteers, Jeremy Wensinger, group president Government Communications Systems said, “Harris would like to thank you for volunteering in the community in which you work and live. We encourage you to continue paying it forward.”
As part of the event, Harris announced a new volunteer program named the Mission Possible Challenge. The Challenge was designed to have employees engage in their local community by identifying and assisting a worthy family or non-profit organization. Two Harris employee volunteers were randomly selected to compete in the challenge and were given the option to select teams to assist in their efforts. Timothy Champagne, of the Government Communications Systems systems and test group, and Cathy Bright, of the Government Communications Systems contracts group, were selected for the Challenge. Each team had to complete the mission in a three-week time frame with only $500 from Harris.
Throughout the three-week mission, both teams held interactive events on the Harris Palm Bay Campus in order to raise funds and awareness about local non-profit organizations. Bright and her team held a variety of events including a food and toy drive for the Salvation Army and the South Brevard Sharing Center and a raffle of gift baskets that assisted nine local non-profit organizations. Champagne and his team constructed an awareness website, held a pie-throwing contest, and collected change to benefit the Haven for Children, Inc.
Once the mission was completed, over 256 Harris employees logged onto the Mission Possible website and voted for the employee they felt made the greatest impact on the community. Bright and the entire contracts group were selected as the winning team and received a $1000 check from the Harris Corporation to give to their preferred agency.
Harris Corporation also gave each team a check to donate to the agency of their choice. Bright and the contracts group donated their winnings to the American Red Cross Fire Relief Fund, which provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Champagne and his team donated their check to the Haven for Children, Inc., residential group homes for infants and children who have been removed from their own homes because of abuse or neglect.
At an appreciation reception held for both teams, Keith Gee, president of the American Red Cross Space Coast Chapter, and Kim Strahela, president of the Haven, were moved by the generosity of Harris employees.
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