Microsoft employee Jeff Stone is not shy about inspiring others.
Recently, the senior program manager organized an informal “lunch and learn” event to give his co-workers the opportunity to hear more about Syria and the refugee crisis. Jeff invited World Vision staff members to share stories about real refugees and explain how the organization is working to help children and families who have been forced from their homes in record-breaking numbers.
After lunch, the group of around 50 employees had the chance to respond to the need by building supply kits. Together they assembled Promise Packs filled with school supplies and personal items like a toothbrush and toothpaste for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.
“It’s exciting to get people there and introduce people to issues,” Jeff says. He considers it a privilege to connect his co-workers with the work of World Vision—so much so that he’s been hosting events like this annually for 10 years.
Every October, Microsoft encourages its employees to give back and to share about the topics that matter most to them. For Jeff, this is the month he waits for all year—the time when he can tell everyone at work about what World Vision is doing, and invite them to join him in making a difference.
“I like that we can do this—that we have the freedom,” Jeff says of Microsoft. He appreciates the company’s commitment to social responsibility, as well as their generosity. As a 25-year employee, he has his donations matched by Microsoft for up to $15,000 every year.
Jeff knows the value in that kind of investment—he saw the impact of it firsthand when he traveled to Kenya with World Vision staff in 2006.
“It was inspiring to see the children our dollars are helping, and to see the sincere, loving care of the local staff for the kids they serve,” he says.
Returning home, Jeff wanted to do something more, so in 2007, he and several co-workers brought the World Vision “Step into Africa” AIDS Experience to the Microsoft campus. In one week, more than 500 people walked through and were introduced to World Vision’s work.
Jeff has been bringing World Vision to work with him ever since, and plans to keep doing so for years to come.