Moving Mountains Program Helps Employees Give Back
“Think globally, act locally.” Many of us live by this basic principle of the green movement—and Iron Mountain does too. We’re taking steps to put this belief into practice.
The Moving Mountains volunteer program encourages our workforce to be part of positive changes in their communities. It gives full-time employees up to 16 hours and part-timers up to eight hours of paid time off to volunteer for a community or civic cause annually. And this year, we’ve expanded the initiative to operate worldwide.
Participants have done everything from helping people in need within their communities, to manning the polls on Election Day in the U.S. “This year’s expansion of the program has empowered our people to get more committed than ever,” says Amy Aris, Iron Mountain’s Events, Volunteerism, & Operations Specialist.
Saving Dogs, One at a Time
Marti Zehr-Breedlove is one example of a Mountaineer with an intensified commitment. When the Global PR and Media Relations Senior Manager learned that her home state of Texas leads the country in the euthanizing of dogs, she knew something had to be done.
Zehr-Breedlove now devotes her volunteer time to animal welfare advocacy. The organization she works with rescues Texas shelter dogs who have maxed out their shelter capacity and are facing death. They place these dogs with loving families out-of-state, where animal shelters are not as full and there is often a waiting list of families who want to adopt a dog.
“For every dog we pull out of a shelter and place on a transport, we actually save two dogs as it allows for another dog to enter the shelter,” she explains.
As a participant in the Moving Mountains program, now devotes even more time to the care and transportation of the rescue dogs: “Transport day is the best day of the month. You get to take a dog from horrible shelter conditions, spoil them with love and attention, then load them in the van and send them on to live their best life.”
She adds: “I highly recommend volunteering for a day at an animal shelter. Who doesn't love a wagging tail?
An Arts Program Fuels Expression
As a Learning and Design Specialist in our Budapest office, Dora Komporday produces training materials. She has also applied these education skills to creating an arts workshop program for mentally disabled children.
“These children often don’t have the chance to develop the skills for self-expression that many of us take for granted,” says Komporday. “We give them an opportunity to take part in artistic activities and show their talents in public, which aids their social integration.”
Students can draw, paint, dance, sing, and even act in plays. “I’ve never before experienced such honesty, kindness, and acceptance as from these disabled children,” says Komporday. “It’s like getting a giant boost of kindness and positivity.”
Although the workshop didn’t meet last year due to the global pandemic, 2021 saw its return, with a seven-day camp that included two days of arts programming for six children.
“On the first day, we worked to create a safe environment for the participants. But it’s difficult for them to create without rules,” says Komporday. “But by the end of that first session, it was hard to stop. They were all so enthusiastic.”
The goal of each class was for the students to create something to take home, such as screen-printed t-shirts. The children also created a huge graffiti poster as a group project.
“These two days hold such fantastic memories for me. I thank Iron Mountain’s Moving Mountains program for making it possible for me to be there,” Komporday says. “Everybody should take this opportunity to give something good back to the world.”
Mountaineers Climb Higher
In Scotland, Iron Mountain Sales Manager Kimberley Samson and seven of her colleagues wanted to use their company-paid time to contribute food bank donations for an Amazon wish list. Their solution? Each used one of their volunteer days to hike up a local hill, accepting pledges towards their goal of reaching the peak.
“We liked the concept of ‘moving mountains’ with a hill walk,” says Samson. “A number of us even brought our dogs along for the hike. It was a really fun and meaningful experience.”
If you’re an employee looking to move a mountain or two of your own, it’s never been easier. There’s even a platform that lets employees log their Moving Mountains volunteer hours.