Last December, 300 Applied Materials employees and their families spent a Saturday morning at Second Harvest for their 23rd annual “Helping Hands Day.” They packed an incredible 6,000 boxes of food for those in need.
Helping Hands Day is a long-standing tradition at Applied. Families have grown up participating in the event and look forward to it each year.
We chatted with Tom Larkins, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Steve Ghanayem, Senior Vice President for the New Markets and Alliances Group, and Siobhan Kenney, Senior Director, Global Community Affairs, to learn more.
How did your partnership with Second Harvest come about?
Siobhan Kenney: Applied Materials has been involved with Second Harvest for decades – running Food Drives, engaging employee volunteers and for 23 years, holding Helping Hands Day to involve our employees and their families in packing thousands of boxes of food.
Bob Davis (left), Corporate Vice President Global Quality and Continuous Improvement, Applied Materials and Siobhan Kenney (right), Senior Director, Global Community Affairs, Applied Materials, at the 2018 Helping Hands Day event
What gets Applied Materials employees so excited about Helping Hands Day ?
Tom Larkins: Helping Hands Day is a great embodiment of Applied’s values and our purpose. While we are very serious about the task at hand, it is refreshing to look up from box packing and see employees and their families working hard for a good cause – all with smiles on their faces.
Bob Davis (left), Corporate Vice President Global Quality and Continuous Improvement, Applied Materials and Tom Larkins (right), Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Applied Materials, at the 2018 Helping Hands Day event
Can you tell us a bit more about the teams’ competition during the event?
Siobhan Kenney: Volunteers are organized in teams to pack boxes that move down a human “conveyor belt.” They are filled with identical items and then stacked on pallets at the end of the line. While safety and quality are always our primary goals, teams get a bit competitive and are happy to let others know – with a lot of loud celebratory shouting – when each pallet is complete!
What did you like most about the event this year?
Tom Larkins: I like seeing the kids and parents working together. There is a job for everyone – even kids who can’t see over the tables. Helping Hands Day allows each of us to contribute and it provides the opportunity for families to develop an ethic of service and community involvement.
Kids worked hard during the event and helped pack 6,000 boxes of food
If Second Harvest weren’t around, how would you feel hunger in our community would be different?
Steve Ghanayem: The Food Bank plays a critical role in distributing food to hungry people through its network of 309 agencies. Without its reach and efficiency, I can only imagine that fewer people would receive the nutritious meals they need and deserve.
Bob Davis (left), Corporate Vice President Global Quality and Continuous Improvement, Applied Materials and Steve Ghanayem (right), Senior Vice President for the New Markets and Alliances Group, Applied Materials, at the event
What is exciting about being the corporate champion this year? Are there any new ideas that you have implemented?
Steve: Two things stand out for me. First, I have learned a lot about the diversity of people who use a food bank and I have shared this information with Applied employees. When you learn about the need, it inspires you to get involved in helping to address the issue. And, second, I continue to be amazed by the generosity of Applied employees and other donors in Silicon Valley who are passionate about helping to alleviate hunger.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Tom: We feel fortunate to work with Second Harvest and appreciate the organization’s work, leadership and impact. The Food Bank is a critical community resource working to make a positive contribution in local neighborhoods. Applied’s involvement aligns what matters to our employees with who we are and what we stand for as a company.
Second Harvest staff are so grateful for everyone who participated during Helping Hands Day!
Thank you so much Applied Materials for all you do!