Giving back: Employees pack 825,000 meals for charity

  • ServiceNow Blog
  • Life at Now
  • Culture
  • 2022
September 16, 2022

Giving back: UTG Connect, employees packing meals, a speaker on stage, and a wide view of people at an event

At ServiceNow, we embrace a culture of giving back. Knowing the importance of service, we embed it into our events. We thrive on helping to improve the lives of vulnerable people, finding purpose and growing closer to each other in the process.

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Our Unified Technology Group (UTG) exemplifies this service mindset. Its members gathered in person this summer for the first time in more than two years, and they did a lot more than remark on how much taller everyone looks in the flesh.

UTG is a group of software engineers, technical support managers, designers, and many others. Together, they weave the technical fabric of the Now Platform to help customers get the best possible experience.

At the first-ever UTG Connect events held at eight locations around the world, employees whose relationships were once limited to email interactions and Zoom calls came face to face. They forged and rekindled friendships during get-to-know-you speed mixers, 47 unique learning sessions, customer interviews, and exciting talks from senior leadership.

An opportunity to give back

On the last day of the events, thousands of ServiceNow UTG employees—from Australia to India to Amsterdam to the US—donned hair nets and gloves and hunkered down to package meals for Rise Against Hunger.

Targeting remote, last-mile communities within hunger pockets often overlooked by non-governmental organizations, Rise Against Hunger works to empower these communities by tackling their food insecurity challenges. The organization relies on volunteers to package meals.

ServiceNow saw this as a great chance to give back en masse, transforming our 6,000 motivated UTG employees into life-saving volunteers.

Assembly lines

When Senior Support Account Manager Jason G. first heard about the initiative at his Orlando location, he wasn’t surprised. “I’ve already known our company for several years to be focused on community and service…It’s in line with what I know ServiceNow to be.”

With music blaring, employee volunteers stood shoulder to shoulder in meal-packing assembly lines, each person an essential point in a long chain of production. “We were singing and dancing while working,” says Tracy S., a senior account escalation manager who also attended the Orlando event. “It was infectious—a maelstrom of energy, a hurricane.”

It's amazing how we can amplify the impact by just synchronizing our efforts over those two or three hours... It feels powerful. - Murali S., AI solution success VP, Santa Clara, CA

By the time the packages reached the end of the line, they’d been filled with precise portions of rice, soy, vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals. When opened, the meals would be in the hands of hungry schoolchildren or a family struggling through a climate disaster halfway around the world. 

Murali S., AI solution success VP, worked at the Santa Clara event and reflected on the importance of giving back. “While we feel joyous about all of the results, the event also was a reminder about the broader economic situation globally,” he says.

“Packing the food bags allowed us to connect to people who are significantly less fortunate than us…It was just a few hours of work, and we could make an impact.”

“The reality check is important,” adds Amol K., a product usage and data engineering manager who also volunteered at the Santa Clara event.

Building community in a new way

Once the assembly lines got into a rhythm, it was hard to stop. “We turned it into a factory,” Amol says.

“I worked with totally new people I’d never met before,” notes Bhavana V., a software engineer, regarding her experience at the Hyderabad, India, event. “It was an opportunity to work together as a team.”

For Tracy, who grew up in Latin America and the Caribbean, packing meals for children felt personal. “Growing up, I would see children in disenfranchised situations,” she says. “To see the company doing this on a global level where we’re not only helping children in the US but from all over the world, I felt it was such a community thing to do…I felt like I was boots on the ground.”

The finish line

By the end of these events, more than 825,000 meals had been packaged and sent to those in need.

Murali felt empowered by the harmony and teamwork he witnessed. “At the company level, it's amazing how we can amplify the impact by just synchronizing our efforts over those two or three hours and getting a few thousand people to put that together. It feels powerful,” he reflects.

“The thing that holds me,” Jason adds, “is that we're genuine. We put the effort behind the marketing. It's not just flash. It's not just bang. We do these things.”

Join a company committed to giving back. Browse job opportunities at ServiceNow.

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