Employee Engagement & Volunteerism

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Employee Volunteerism

MetLife volunteers with Special Olympics in Europe.

 

Our employees contribute to improving their communities globally all year round, working hard through a variety of ways across education, the environment, and financial health programs.

MetLife Foundation grantee, Hot Bread Kitchen, in New York City guides women into successful jobs in the food industry.

Developing the workforce and smart financial habits in New York City

For more than 10 years, Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK) in New York City has guided women who face profound barriers to employment into successful jobs in the food industry through its four-week culinary fundamentals training program and by matching them with local employers. In 2019, MetLife Foundation helped the nonprofit introduce a personalized financial health program into its curriculum and hire a financial coach to help participants tie paycheck-related spending and savings opportunities to individualized life goals. Members of MetLife’s Multicultural Professionals Network supported the nonprofit by conducting mock interviews with the women, while MetLife's Human Resources and Communications professionals volunteered their time and expertise, in partnership with Taproot Foundation, to help HBK develop standards around culture, communications, meetings, and protocols.

Partnering with the Taproot Foundation: Joining Forces to Build Nonprofit Capacity

Opportunity Workshops, run by Taproot Foundation in partnership with MetLife Foundation and Dell Technologies, brought together teams of specifically skilled MetLife and Dell Technologies employees to assist nonprofits in developing solutions for an issue critical to their day-today success. The workshops benefitted 28 nonprofit partners, with the majority focused on racial opportunity and justice and COVID-19. Over 120 volunteers—60 from MetLife—participated in the two-day fully virtual event, with each nonprofit paired with three to five MetLife and Dell Technologies volunteers to improve an approach, process, or tool fundamental to their success.

Volunteering With Purpose: 90 Days of Giving

In MetLife’s first global virtual volunteer initiative, employees lived our purpose by volunteering for projects focused on helping vulnerable children, families, and communities. MetLife Foundation donated to four nonprofits—Together We Rise, Save the Children, Helping Hands, and Special Olympics—which offered simple, hands-on volunteer projects that employees could do safely from home, often with their family. Nearly 10,000 employees in 39 countries volunteered, making Volunteering with Purpose MetLife’s largest volunteer effort to date. Some snapshots:

90 Days of Giving: By the Numbers

Nearly 10,000
total employee volunteers

2,489
letters written globally for Save the Children
2,407
duffle bags for foster care youth decorated: Together We Rise (U.S.)
603
prosthetic hands assembled: Odyssey Teams/Helping Hands (Asia/EMEA)
977
sports backpacks assembled: Special Olympics (Asia/EMEA)
3,457
employees participated
in local projects

 

MetLife Foundation has collaborated with partners such as Habitat for Humanity, Rise Against Hunger, and Junior Achievement for many years to expand affordable housing and mentor children to pursue successful careers.

Habitat for Humanity

MetLife Foundation partners with Habitat for Humanity to build strength, stability, and self-reliance for families in need of decent and affordable housing. A house is most families’ greatest financial asset. With MetLife Foundation’s support and MetLife volunteer efforts, Habitat for Humanity increases affordable housing and homeownership. Its proven program includes construction of new housing, improvement of existing homes in disrepair, and revitalization of community facilities and open space. Habitat maintains housing affordability through efficient building methods, modest house sizes, no-profit loans, and volunteer labor including partner families.

MetLife volunteers work side-by-side with future Habitat homeowners and community members on ground-up home building projects, home repairs, and community improvements. Homeownership—the cornerstone of Habitat’s work—fosters stability and revitalization in low-income areas. By obtaining a home, stabilizing living expenses, and managing cash flows necessary to maintain a home, families can improve their financial well-being, as well as their physical well-being and educational opportunities. Almost 1,400 MetLife volunteers contributed over 12,000 hours in 17 countries to Habitat new construction, home repair, and neighborhood revitalization projects in 2019.

Before the pandemic in 2020, over 130 MetLife Nepal volunteers built Habitat for Humanity houses for an earthquake-affected community in the Kavre region. The volunteers worked along with community members to do prep work for Habitat for Humanity to build permanent, stable, earthquake-resistant houses.

In Australia, the MetLife team partnered with Habitat for Humanity to launch Fit 4 Humanity. For every 30 minutes of outside activity by a MetLife associate, MetLife Foundation donated $10 to Habitat for Humanity. The unique program allowed us to continue supporting Habitat for Humanity in a trying year, encouraged people to get active, and helped make associates feel like they could still contribute meaningfully to their local communities. It also gave Habitat for Humanity a new engagement model that they have since rolled out to other corporate partners.

Employees in Nepal participate in a Habitat for Humanity build.

Rise Against Hunger

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people. In partnership with Rise Against Hunger, more than 2,000 MetLife employees at 11 U.S. and two India sites spent more than 10,000 hours packaging nutrient-rich meals for people at risk of food insecurity and increasing their awareness of the issue in 2019. The annual event is an initiative of Rising Professionals at MetLife (iRise).

Junior Achievement

For the fourth consecutive year, Junior Achievement (JA) USA has given MetLife a Gold US President’s Volunteer Service Award for providing more than 15,000 hours to JA around the world during the last program year (2018-19). The Gold Award is the highest level of recognition and is a U.S. presidential recognition program created by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation for individuals and organizations who contribute a significant amount of time to volunteer service. JA USA, as an official certifying organization of the award, bestows the honor on organizations with a U.S. presence that provide volunteers to teach JA programs anywhere in the world. Employees in 25 countries volunteered more than 13,100 hours for local JA programs and at regional entrepreneurship competitions in Europe and the Middle East North Africa.

Planting Trees Around the World

MetLife has been expanding our tree planting initiatives in recent years and doing our part in improving local habitats. In Romania, for instance, the team planted one tree for every new customer, resulting in 10,000 trees planted, while the Turkey team joined an industrywide tree planting commitment to plant over 3,000 saplings. MetLife Foundation also funded tree planting projects in Malaysia, Brazil, and the U.S., with employees in the U.S. planting 4,000 saplings alone in North Carolina. In Korea, employees were sent plants as a symbol of well-being, while in the U.S., 100 employees were awarded trees to plant in their own backyards as prizes for participating in Our Green Impact activities.

Tree planting in Sao Paulo, Brazil pre-pandemic.

In the past, MetLife Foundation has also focused on:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Community Improvement
  • Disaster Relief
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Involvement
  • Financial Health
  • Health & Medical Research
  • Youth/Education