Tuesday, October 25 , 2016, 2:49 am | Fog 55º


Tom Donohue: A Season for Service

One of the wonderful aspects of the holiday season is the emphasis on giving to those in need. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, but this December we should remember what’s really important — lifting up our neighbors and serving others.

Americans are among the most generous and compassionate people on Earth. Many devote countless hours to community service, make regular donations to charity or mentor a child. Likewise, businesses of all sizes work to improve their communities and find ways to give back.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center is dedicated to addressing societal issues that affect business, such as globalization, community development and disaster response. The BCLC created a program to recognize businesses that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to improving lives, communities or society. These companies represent the business community at its best. Here are a few of their stories.

WellPoint and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have partnered to tackle childhood obesity. Through the Triple Play program, these corporate partners help teach kids how to eat right, keep fit and lead healthy lifestyles.

Many think of Google as a global tech giant. They might be surprised to learn that the Internet company is reaching deep into local communities and assisting the 58 percent of American small businesses that don’t have a website. Through its “Get Your Business Online” program, Google has helped more than 300,000 small businesses build an online presence so that they can be competitive and attract more customers.

Qualcomm, one of the world’s leading wireless technology corporations, is bringing transformative technology to impoverished regions through its Wireless Reach initiative. Teaming up with the Grameen Foundation and Ruma, an Indonesian social enterprise, Qualcomm has helped equip more than 15,000 entrepreneurs with telecommunications capabilities. This helps low-income retailers provide phone-based services in remote communities.

The mission of global science company DSM is to help people live better lives today and into the future. The company leverages technology, science and innovation to produce more nutritional food, expand preventive health care and reduce the environmental impact of numerous products, leading to a stronger, more sustainable planet.

These companies set an outstanding example for all of us. As businesses and their employees once again express their core values this holiday season, we should recognize the difference they make in communities across America — and around the world.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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