BY OLIVIA ARMSTRONG
HBO Celebrates the Holiday Season With a Mission to Share
As 2017 comes to a close, HBO employees on both coasts — from executives to freelancers — have focused on giving back. For the third consecutive year, the company passed on its annual holiday party, opting to donate time, skills and dollars to local communities instead. The HBO Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility group, along with volunteers from across the company, celebrated the holidays as a team with the goal of making this time of year special for those less fortunate. See how and learn what you can do to help too.
What we did: Packed more than 110,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger and #HashtagLunchbag.
Their mission: Rise Against Hunger aims to end hunger by 2030 by providing food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable. #HashtagLunchbag delivers packed lunches to the homeless with volunteer-written notes of kindness and encouragement inside.
How to get involved: Host a meal-packaging event, donate, volunteer and champion the causes of Rise Against Hunger and #HashtagLunchbag.
What we did: Donated over 1,000 toys to children residing in NYC Service shelters.
Their mission: Collect gifts to wrap and deliver to children and teens living in homeless shelters around the city. This year, toys were donated to the Landing Shelter in Queens and Alice Branch Shelter in Brooklyn.
How to get involved: There are tons of toy drives available to help make someone’s holiday a little brighter — and you can start with Coalition for the Homeless.
What we did: Decorated and organized over 500 “Sweet Cases” for children and teens in foster care for Together We Rise.
Their mission: When children and teenagers enter foster care, they are typically given two trash bags to transport their belongings. Together We Rise wants to destigmatize the transition with their slogan, “We are kids, not trash.” Volunteers customize duffel bags with “sweet” items inside: a teddy bear, coloring books and school supplies.
How to get involved: In addition to organizing Sweet Cases, Together We Rise invites individual volunteers and groups to sponsor the cases, assemble bikes and skateboards, organize personalized care packages and birthday boxes, and attend trips.
What we did: Delivered over 2,000 craft kits to multiple pediatric centers for Project Sunshine.
Their mission: For children with pediatric illnesses, spending time in a hospital can rob families of their sense of normalcy. Project Sunshine works to restore that by bringing in-hospital activities and educational programs, including arts and crafts, to bedsides and play centers.
How to get involved: Train to become a member of the Project Sunshine Team. You can also join a chapter, volunteer as a company or donate.
What we did: Collected over $3,000 worth of holiday gifts for families in need with organizations People Assisting the Homeless and Upward Bound House in Santa Monica.
Their mission: People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) focuses on developing affordable housing in an effort to get people off the street. Upward Bound House provides homeless families with emergency housing and supportive services.
How to get involved: Check out PATH and Upward Bound volunteer opportunities. If you’re not in the Los Angeles area, you can always donate.
What we did: Clocked over 100 volunteer hours and painted a home in Torrance, California with Habitat for Humanity.
Their mission: The organization advocates for building, reconstructing and securing affordable housing for those seeking a place to call home.
How to get involved: Habitat for Humanity’s reach spans four continents, making it easy to get involved. In addition to making direct donations and participating in group build events, there are also long-term ways to put your elbow grease to good use. See all the ways you can volunteer and support.
See how HBO gives back year-round by following #HBOInspires on Instagram.