No limits when you give from your heart

Patti Sarr, IntelGuest Blogger

I wish I had unlimited resources to give to those who need help. Just think of what I could do if only I would win the lottery!

The reality is…I live on a budget. I have a mortgage and bills to pay and limited funds left over to give away. But, I do give—every paycheck—and my United Way donation is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Intel Foundation, with the matching amount allocated to local United Way Community Funds.

And because I work for Intel, I have the opportunity to also donate my time, my talent and my passion to volunteer in my community. Intel challenges me to utilize my professional skills to benefit community organizations. Over the past year, I’ve leveraged my communications, marketing and art expertise to help the teens at Koinonia. One project in particular is near and dear to my heart—The SHE&Me project.

When I proposed the SHE&Me project as an Intel Involved activity the Folsom Women@Intel (WIN) chapter could support as part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, I had figured the biggest ROI would be for the 12 teen-aged students participating from the Koinonia Foster home. I had no idea so many Intel women would realize benefits too.

What is the SHE&Me project? I provided in-classroom education to 12 teen-aged girls about International Women’s Day, cultural diversity and the benefits of networking, making connections with other people–those who may not look, think, act or have the same background or set of life experiences as they did. I also asked 12 Intel women I know from around the world to write personal letters to their teen mentees. These Intel letter writers shared their personal stories of being teenagers, growing up and pursuing their educational and life-long dreams and even included photographs of themselves showing a little glimpse into their personal lives. After reading the letters and doing some research on the letter writers’ countries of origin, the teens created collages depicting their letter writers and themselves, showing through their art the similarities they found between the letter writers’ stories and their own life stories, challenges and aspirations.

The final phase of this project took place at the Folsom Intel campus. The girls were invited to participate in the Folsom WIN Business Luncheon and Mentoring session held on March 8th (the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day). The teens were each paired up with an Intel woman mentor. The girls heard from 25 mentors from inside/outside Intel, including some of Intel’s more senior women like, the now retired CIO, Carlene Ellis; Diversity Director, Roz Hudnell; and, VP, Laura Crone. They participated in the Speed Mentoring session, toured the campus and hosted an art show where they shared their creations and what they learned with Intel employees.