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One Day, One Big Contribution: Global Day of Service

September 22, 2022    Posted by: Eli Lilly and Company


How much of a difference can one day make? When thousands of employees around the world unite to give back, a pretty big one.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of our Global Day of Service (GDOS), where Lilly employees worldwide volunteer in their local communities. Since the inaugural GDOS in 2008, our team has made an impact in 65 countries, racking up more than 1.2 million service hours and completing more than 1,000 community service projects.

Although it doesn’t capture all that our employees do year-long to give back, that’s a pretty large impact based on one designated day a year.

This year, our GDOS projects focus on building healthy lives, minds and communities. In our home state of Indiana, we’re starting strong with Indianapolis Public School students and a day filled with math fun.

NBA Math Hoops, made possible in Indianapolis through a grant from the Lilly Foundation to the Pacers Foundation, is a community education program created for kids in grades three through eight. The program helps strengthen math skills and bring math to life using NBA and WNBA stats, while also teaching crucial social-emotional competencies, like sportsmanship.

Lilly employees are on site at 15 different schools in the district to help introduce the program and teach kids how to play. The event also marks the beginning of a four-year collaboration between the Lilly Foundation and the Pacers Foundation.

But our Indianapolis contributions don’t end there. Employees are participating in additional projects with multiple locations across the city.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful: A partner all 15 years, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful creates vibrant public places in diverse communities, helping people and nature thrive. During the time we’ve worked together, nearly 65,000 Lilly volunteers have clocked 268,000 hours of service. This year, volunteers are refreshing green spaces and local parks and creating murals.

Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana: By selling and recycling donations, Goodwill not only supports vulnerable residents; it also saves millions of pounds of waste from landfills. In addition, the organization operates 15 tuition-free high schools for adults across central and southern Indiana. Volunteers are helping with normal site operations.

JA JobSpark: Part of Junior Achievement’s career exploration curriculum, JA JobSpark helps students identify potential industries that interest them. It’s the only organization in central Indiana exclusively focused on preparing youth to be financially literate and career ready. Our volunteers are helping with hospitality, security and guest services.

Gleaners Food Bank: More than 800,000 people in Indiana sometimes go without food. Gleaners focuses on providing food to those in need and addressing food insecurities. Volunteers will be at a number of food bank and pantry locations to help with operations.

Outside Indiana, employees are dedicating their GDOS to impactful organizations in their local communities.

  • In Mexico, Lilly volunteers are working with Innovation Camp Mexico, supporting 15- to 18-year-olds creating innovative business ideas focused on sustainable development goals.

  • Volunteers from Qatar, Oman and Bahrain will work with the Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind doing arts and crafts and playing tennis with kids.

  • Employees in Italy will volunteer with the Italian Red Cross to collect items for people affected by the war in Ukraine, or local communities in need.

That’s just a snapshot of the ways we’re contributing. From cleaning up communities to decorating hospital common rooms, building nest boxes for sick birds to writing letters to nursing home residents, employees around the world are finding the causes they’re passionate about.

Fifteen years after our first GDOS, we’re still going strong.