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Connecting to the Community – Volunteering in Lyon

By November 2, 2015

By: Marie Baudouin, Corporate Marketing Associate Analyst, Salesforce

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere” (Chinese Proverb). This is a lesson that 13 Salesforce employees experienced on a Friday in September, as they volunteered at Emmaus, in Lyon, France.

Organised as part of the Salesforce Foundation 1-1-1 program, this day represented the launch of a group of volunteers’ time contribution and their commitment to giving back. Every single Salesforce employee is encouraged to give 1% of all his working time to volunteering; and to do so, a group from the South-East Europe team chose to spend one day giving a helping hand at Emmaus, Lyon.

Building Awareness…

What is Emmaus? A simple question not everybody can answer. Emmaus is one of those charities that everybody knows about, without really knowing what it actually does. And, that is precisely what the team at Salesforce noticed.

“Actually, everybody can walk into an Emmaus shop and buy something. Contrary to common perception, it’s not only people who can’t afford to shop elsewhere, because buying something at Emmaus is performing a meaningful purchase” said Sofyen Ziadi, a South-East Salesforce Consultant. “We can give 3 ways: by giving goods, by giving time as a volunteer and by purchasing something from an Emmaus shop,” says Marion Pangaud, also a Salesforce Consultant in Lyon.

… the Pleasure of Giving

Sorting clothes, reassembling incomplete board games, selling goods – during our first Foundation Day, the activities were varied, but all brought about the same feeling – usefulness.

salesforce volunteering

“Spending the day with Emmaus is a very human experience. Not only because it helps us feel useful, but also because of the team spirit that is shared between all the Emmaus volunteers,” highlights Marion Pangaud.

A feeling also confirmed by Laurianne Combes, another Salesforce Consultant: “I could discover the human and solidarity side of the organisation that is hidden behind Emmaus. It was really enriching to work with the Emmaus volunteers; people who were, or still are in need, but who have made the choice to give back.”

To give something is also to receive something. “The entire Emmaus team has welcomed us with open arms and enthusiasm. My discussions with Emmaus volunteers made me want to involve myself more in this type of volunteering activities,” shares Sofyen Ziadi.  

A couple of volunteering hours in exchange for many smiles. At the end of the day, just one question remains: “what will our next activity be?”

salesforce volunteer