The leading CRM company Salesforce, voted one of 50 most innovative and 15 most admired companies in 2019, has partnered with the Latika Roy Foundation on their Volunteer Time Off (VTO) programme. On 14 May, we had a team of 10 volunteers led by Francis Anthony, with the fascinating designation of ‘Trailmaker with his head in the (Financial Services) Cloud’, fly in from Hyderabad. Their Jo (Ward), Senior Vice President, Content and Communication — Technology and Products flew in from San Francisco, just to participate in the event. Being the sort of place that discourages resting (on laurels), we got started the very evening they arrived with our Jo (Chopra), Executive Director, making a presentation on the Foundation.
The next day was packed and the centers buzzing with activity. The volunteers were divided into four teams.
Team 1 (Sejal, Amit and Alok) were assigned to the Early Intervention Center (EIC). Our special educators and helpers were on hand as they worked with the kids on a ‘My Family and I’ activity with poems, stories, hand puppets they’d brought, and making masks of the children’s family members.
At tiffin time, they helped the tots with oro-motor activities to encourage them to chew and swallow better.
Team 2 (Francis and Harini) volunteered at Karuna Vihar Special School (KVSS), where they used the animal masks they’d brought along for their ‘Spin a Yarn’ activity.
The kids listened to a story, talked about the characters, made cut-outs and presented a skit at the end of the session.
Team 3 (Hima and Alekhya) worked with another group at KVSS on ‘I am the One!’, where the children picked terracotta pots, painted them and planted seedlings they’ll continue to look after long after their new friends have left.
Team 4 (Jo Ward, Mira, Roshni) went across to the Center for Vocational Training for their ‘How Cool Are We!’ activity, for which the trainers and trainees had already laid the groundwork.
They’d begun work on a scrapbook of their favorite celebrities a week earlier, complete with research and items they could use to make over themselves.
Salesforce brought the makeup and hair gel to transform our models into their idols for a catwalk.
Lunch at The Club, our hangout for disabled adults, young and old, was an opportunity for our staff and volunteers to interact informally.
This was followed by two sessions at the Resource Center – we shared our experience of using Salesforce software, and over a working tea, our guests spoke to us about how it’s being used by nonprofits across the country.
Later that evening, there was a Cooking Fiesta with about 40 kids, and a dozen staff and parents each, enjoying fresh made bhelpuri, fruit salad and cheesy burgers.
Team Salesforce, they weren’t kidding when they voted you one of the world’s best companies to work in – what a great bunch of people you are! Thanks for coming. It was fantastic having you!