Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What Are You Doing This Summer?

For IBMer Andrew Levy and his daughter Gabrielle, volunteerism is a family affair.

In honor of their service to the local community of Fairfax, Virginia, these President's Volunteer Service Award winners were recently named "Lord and Lady Fairfax." The tradition of honoring Lords and Ladies of Fairfax began in 1984 as a way to recognize the outstanding citizens of Fairfax County. At only five years old, Gabrielle is the youngest recipient in history to receive this honor.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized as a father–daughter team," says the elder Levy. "But our volunteer efforts really include the entire family. Volunteering and giving back to the community have become important family values for us. The earlier you instill those values, the greater the lifelong impact."

Along with mom, Eva–Beth and son Aiden, age three, the Levy family is often found at local events offering a helping hand. They have demonstrated solutions from TryScience at the Smithsonian's Family Day and highlighted the new PowerUp game on the National Mall with IBM during Earth Day.

Many random acts of kindness

For Gabrielle, her volunteer involvement at a Fairfax event got her started making greeting cards. These cards have expanded into what she calls her own company, "Caring Kids Cards."

With the help of younger brother Aiden, the Levy kids have made cards for members of the military stationed around the world, police officers, fire fighters, senior centers, students in college, transitioning parents and even cards in other languages. Often receiving orders for 50–100 cards at a time, Gabrielle and Aiden hope to impact over 10,000 people with their cards by the time they are teenagers. Their Web site was named a "Web site of the month" by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

"I started volunteering when I was three years old," says Gabrielle. "I would like everyone to know that it does not matter how old you are. Even someone as young as two, like my brother Aiden, or younger, can make a card" — and make a difference.

Giving back globally: the Corporate Service Corps

As one of the first IBM Corporate Service Corps assignees, Andrew Levy is taking his passion for giving back on the road — and around the globe — as he prepares for a four–week assignment this July in the Philippines.

"I am excited about working with an international team in a culturally diverse environment to help solve challenges, to make a difference — and to learn in the process," says Levy. "We are not going to do a short–term job and then leave. We are there to help teach the locals, to mentor them, so they are able to continue with their newly learned skills and teach others as well."

(Reprinted from ibm.com)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an inspiration! This family is a real model for others.

Check out this video from the Foundation for a Better Life.