Three years after its launch, the Gucci Changemakers Global Volunteering program continues in its goal to empower Gucci employees to connect with their local communities
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has limited some activities, our Changemakers adapted to local challenges and needs to continue supporting their communities in new ways, particularly those impacted during the COVID-19 crisis.
The situation we are facing globally reminds us that we are all global citizens and it is our duty to stir consciences and foster collective actions. To celebrate International Volunteer Day this year, we have selected some volunteering stories of our employees worldwide to highlight their experiences.
Read on to learn how the Gucci Changemakers program has empowered Gucci employees to pursue causes they care about, encourage inclusivity and give back to their communities.
Teaching English to children in Sierra Leone
SlumAID is a nonprofit organization working with developing communities across the globe. They do this through volunteering, education, health, and community development projects. Gucci employees supported SlumAID through conversational English classes to children living in one of the poorest slums in Freetown (Sierra Leone). Through education, the organization strives to overcome the social and environmental problems that perpetuate poverty, reducing criminal activity, child labor, and prostitution.
“I could not wait for our next meeting to come, because the enthusiasm of the kids, their curiosity, their desire to learn, and their huge smiles during the entire lesson were contagious. I’m convinced that I gained so much more than what I gave to them”.
Gaia, Product Care Front Office Associate
Socializing and learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion
Macau Special Olympics is a nonprofit organization committed to creating a better world for individuals with intellectual disabilities as well as their families, giving them ongoing opportunities to demonstrate courage, experience as much joy and happiness as everyone in the Macau society. Gucci employees socialized with Macau Special Olympics members in a series of activities, an important opportunity to navigate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are at the core of Gucci’s corporate culture.
“We are all capable of so much more than we think we are.”
Mavis, Manager-Operations Support
“We may all be different fish, but in this world we swim together.”
Dobby, Operations Manager
Working with Sesta Opera San Fedele to promote dignity and social reintegration
Gucci employees supported Sesta Opera, a nonprofit organization that operates in the penitentiary system, giving moral and physical assistance to convicts to promote dignity and social reintegration through a series of activities. It is a collaboration that has been going on for more than two years.
“Being a Changemaker for me means to have the chance to put yourself in the first line to trigger a positive change in your community, thanks to a Company that understands the enormous impact that its people can create when given the opportunity. I am so proud of all the numerous projects we put in place with our friends of Sesta Opera: from IT tutoring for prisoners to CV screening and job interview simulations, from discussions on drug rehabilitation and self-empowerment to counseling. Each one of them is a way of giving importance and dignity to those who don’t matter to society anymore, and to remind yourself that everyone must take ownership on how society works and evolves.”
Alessandro, Global Wholesale & Franchising Planner
Team building as Changemakers
Gucci Indirect Channels & Travel Retail Department employees spent some days at Centro Accoglienza Ambrosiano Onlus, a nonprofit that welcomes Italian and foreign mothers and their children, who are in situations of fragility related to abuse, violence, economic insecurity, and are at risk of exclusion and marginalization, to guide them towards autonomy. The Gucci team did a series of maintenance activities for Centro Accoglienza Ambrosiano’s centers including gardening, cleaning, painting rooms, and recreational activities for the children.
“When you can access an NGO like this and meet with children and volunteers, you feel grateful and joyful. You know you are helping them, even with small things like a re-painted swing but THEY are helping you and rewarding you with such sincere smiles you’ll never forget”.
Gaia, Indirect Channels & Travel Retail Department Coordinator.
Gucci Store San Marcos for Texas Diaper Bank
The Texas Diaper Bank provides diapers to babies, children with disabilities, and seniors that struggle to afford them on their own. Gucci employees from Gucci Store San Marcos helped in assembling diaper kits for distribution to people in need in the San Antonio area (Texas).
“I care a lot about this because these items are essentials that everyone should have access too, regardless of circumstance. It’s doubly important to me and my team due to political decisions being made against women’s rights in Texas. We volunteered as a store, doing a range of activities: assembling kits for distribution, sorting apparel in the warehouse, preparing orders for families and individuals. We always have the best as a team and always look forward to going back.”
Kimberly, Lead Team Coordinator
Distributing Food for elder people
Gucci employees in Korea collaborated with National Volunteer Federation that provides eldercare services including free meal trucks for 25 regions across South Korea, with the mission to enrich the life quality of privileged people such as homeless people, children in poverty, elder people who live alone, any minority at risk.
“Through this, we are reminded of what sharing means. I also feel that this small effort can cheer people up and make them feel loved. It was so rewarding to see them smiling. We are looking forward to having more chances to help our neighbors in difficult circumstances.”
Saerom (Team Manager), Seoyoon (Team Manager), In Ho (Senior Client Advisor)
Recording audiobooks for visually impaired children
Sightsavers is an international organization that works with partners in more than 30 countries to eliminate avoidable blindness and fight for the rights and needs of people with disabilities. Gucci employees in India supported Sightsavers by recording audiobooks for children, providing them the same learning material that a child with eyesight would have, through a different medium.
“Recording an audiobook knowing that young kids growing up will be listening to your voice and becoming their eyes in the process has been uniquely the most special volunteering experience I had with Sight Savers India.”
Sahil, Senior Client Advisor
“The experience was extremely fulfilling while being interesting. The fact that this exercise would be able to help children do something extremely dear to me (reading) and an experience no child should ever have to miss out on. I’m very grateful to have been a part of it and look forward eagerly to another opportunity.”
Pavitra, Associate Store Manager & Team Manager
Food Packing at Food From the Heart
Food From the Heart is one of Singapore’s foremost charitable food distributors that makes a tangible and meaningful contribution to help fight hunger through bread rations and food packs, and bring joy through the distribution of toys and birthday celebrations. Gucci employees in Singapore helped sort and packing of food items into goodie bags for distribution to sponsored schools, welfare homes, and Self Collection Centres.
“Giving a bit of our time this morning to make a little difference in someone’s life…Fulfilling morning at Food from The Heart Singapore warehouse “
Carolyn, Retail Training Associate Manager (W&J)and Eva, In-store Trainer
Teaching coding at an orphanage
YOUMEWE in Tokyo is committed to help children growing up in institutionalized homes and prepare for life outside their centers once they reach the age of 18. They offer support programs that increase a child’s opportunity to become a productive and financially independent young adult in their community. Graduates young people who benefited from the NGO have been invited in Gucci offices to share their experience, creating a moment of awareness and exchange.
“We held a lecture event for all Gucci employees in Japan online and face-to-face, to participate, focusing on the current state of orphanages in Japan. Listening to the people who grew up in the orphanages, we had a good opportunity to learn about different types of orphanages and the concepts of social care and think about how we could further support them.”
Kyoko, Product Care Jewelry Associate
“We provided supports, such as PC booting and lesson assistance. It was so impressive that children aged 9 to 11 were flexible and immediately absorbed from what the teacher taught and reflected it into programming. Through this volunteering, we felt that “learning” about mindfulness and feeling “fun” is a growth opportunity for everyone.”
Saika, Core HR People Coordinator
Raising awareness around refugees situation with UNHCR
UNHCR is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. Gucci employees in Japan had the opportunity to attend a webinar of UNHCR on refugees situation in Kenya and Japan.
“We were able to learn from the session that we can already contribute from our close surroundings through learning and sharing about these world issues. We did a specific workshop on the theme “Rebuilding one’s identity to understand the position of refugees”. Through the sessions, we were able to understand and realize that is the current situation of refugees and reflect on our own lives”.
Yumiko, Product Care LG & Shoes Senior Associate
Changemakers education for Breaking Barriers!
Breaking Barriers is a charity whose mission is to help refugees in London acquire the knowledge, confidence and experience to get stable, fulfilling employment. They give a central role to businesses, involving them directly in finding employment solutions and providing support that get refugees into work. Gucci employees in London collaborated with Breaking Barriers to train and coach people interested in working in the fashion industry on the shopfloor through a virtual masterclass about the fashion retail world
“Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out, and help. It doesn’t matter what you do, where you from, show the kindness to people”.
Almira, Client Advisor
Gardening and restoration activities for Spazio Aperto Servizi
Spazio Aperto Servizi offers a service called “Casa dell’Accoglienza” as a temporary response to the housing needs of people and families who find themselves in a situation of economic and social hardship. Gucci employees spent time at Casa dell’Accoglienza to help them reorganize the space and materials for the new houses and clean the common areas. The goal of the volunteer activity is to reorganize and care for the garden in the common area, where those staying there can enjoy the space and recreational activities.
“The smallest action for us could make a huge impact for someone else. Let’s be part of the change.”
Elena, Outlet Assistant Merchandiser