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Xerox Grants Six Employees Paid Leaves for Full-Time Community Service

Submitted by: Xerox Corporation

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jan 18, 2000 – 11:00 PM EST


28-Year Old Social Service Leave Program Oldest of Its Kind in American Business

Jan. 18 /CSRwire/ - Six Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) employees will take fully paid leaves of absence this year to work full time on community projects. The sabbaticals are part of Xerox' Social Service Leave program, which has granted paid leaves for volunteer work to nearly 450 employees since the program began in 1971. The program - one of the few sabbatical programs designed to provide opportunities for employees to volunteer in their communities - is believed to be the oldest of its kind in American business.
The leavetakers, who work for Xerox locations across the country, will spend the year volunteering for a variety of causes. Their contributions range from helping to find a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome to improving science and technology education in the inner city to supporting youth leadership programs.

"We encourage our employees to participate in our Social Service Leave program and are proud that they apply what they have learned at Xerox to help others," said Xerox President and CEO Richard Thoman. "As valuable as monetary contributions can be, our leavetakers have an opportunity to make a special impact on deserving programs that need assistance beyond dollars."

This year's Social Service Leave participants include:

Beverley Foster, technical resource manager, Irving, Texas: five months with the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Boys & Girls Club to assist with fund-raising initiatives to continue the growth of the 300-member club.

Bruce Genut, principal engineer, Rochester, N.Y.: 12 months with Science Linkages in the Community to improve technology access and education in the inner city.

Cheryl Hitchcock, document production marketing executive, Towson, Md.: 12 months with the Morgan State University Foundation to develop a fund-raising program to support the historically Black university.

Hazel Peters-Clark, supply product manager, Phoenix, Ariz.: 12 months with the Wellness Community of Central Arizona to develop volunteer programs to support cancer patients and their families.

Stuart Siedman, color product manager, Boston, Mass.: 12 months with the Children's Medical Research Foundation Inc. to raise money to support research on Sanfilippo Syndrome, a debilitating and fatal childhood disease.

Renee Walker-Bolden, strategic solutions executive, San Jose, Calif.: 12 months with Public Allies-Silicon Valley to provide strategic guidance to support youth leadership programs.

Former Xerox President Archie McCardell conceived the Social Service Leave idea in 1970. McCardell and another Xerox executive were on a flight from California, where they had just made a donation to a university on behalf of Xerox. A conversation about how easy it had been for the company to give money turned into a philosophical discussion about finding another philanthropic gesture that would amount to a genuine sacrifice for Xerox. They concluded that the company's most valuable asset was its employees. Offering its employees' time would demonstrate Xerox' true philanthropic commitment.
In 1971, the Xerox Social Service Leave program granted the first paid leaves. Then-Xerox CEO C. Peter McColough wrote a letter to employees announcing the program: "Each year we contribute several million dollars to worthwhile institutions and projects. Yet we don't think that's enough … so we decided to offer what we can least afford to give - the full-time service of Xerox people."

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