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Why we believe in the Eugenio Maria De Hostos School

November 1st, 2009

Out of the hundreds of thousands of schools in the U.S., why did we pick this particular school? One of the factors that stood out when we were looking for this year’s service project, was the fact that 84% of the students receive free school lunches – a clear indicator of the community’s need for additional outside help.

However, one other outstanding indicator was this school’s commitment to the success of its students. More specifically, they’ve instituted something called the Microsociety Concept which teaches real-life skills to its student body. In fact, we were so impressed with the concept, we thought you too should hear more as to why we believe in this school and its students.

The Microsociety Program infuses business and government concepts through all aspects of academic instruction and social skills. Student-run businesses include a bank, courtroom, publishing center, government, library/media center, telecommunications center and marketplace with student-manufactured items for sale.

Like any real community, the school has its own constitution, government, elected executive positions, legislative representatives and a municipal court to help students understand how our government functions. Student citizens create the school economy and currency; and each student has a personal bank account to manage their Microsociety money.

As the November 7th date draws closer, we’ll be posting much more on how you too can participate, so please keep checking back!

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More on the 2009 OmnicomCares Service Day

November 1st, 2009

As we mentioned in the previous post, Omnicom employees and executives will be converging on Yonkers come November 7th. We will be posting more on how you can help the school as well as more on the Microsociety Concept in days to come.  In the meantime, we have a few (of many) photos to share, and hope that as you look at these “before” pictures, you come to understand why we chose this school.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention a group that has helped us tremendously in setting up this 2009 Service Day – The Volunteer Center of United Way. The Volunteer Center is not only the central place for local volunteers to get matched every day – it is also where nonprofits and businesses come for training and support in creating effective volunteer programs. Please visit their site to see how you might help in your own community improvement projects. Or… join their “cause” on Facebook.

Library - Before   School Grounds - Before

As for now, here are some of the “before” pictures, with many more to come. We’ll be providing more details on the event as the time draws closer.

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Omnicom’s 2009 Service Day Announced!

October 26th, 2009

As part of its ongoing efforts to give back to the community, Omnicom’s Connecticut office will be hosting a Service Day at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Microsociety School in Yonkers NY, on Saturday, November 7th.

Omnicom has a tradition of service, beginning in 2007 and carrying through to today.  This will be the first time Omnicom employees have worked in their local community, and we expect to host many more Service Days in the future. When choosing a project, Omnicom employees look for an opportunity to ‘get out and sweat’, where the hard work will have high impact on the lives of children and their communities.

The Hostos project is ideal for this purpose.  As a large elementary school in use year-round for school and community activities, maintenance staff rarely has the opportunity to perform large-scale projects.

Because the school lacks bulletin boards and other displays, nearly every wall in the school is covered with the remnants of glue and adhesive, remaining from previous attempts to display children’s art and schoolwork.  Omnicom staff and their families will be cleaning and painting hallways, classrooms and public spaces in order to provide a bright and cheerful environment for the kids. In addition, Omnicom will be building a small computer center which will be used for instructional purposes as well as publishing the school newspaper and eventually, technology instruction for the community at large.

One of the Yonkers Service Day’s organizers, Tracy Held (a 15-year employee of Omnicom) had this to say: “I am extremely lucky to work with a group of people at Omnicom that really tries to make a difference in children’s lives. It is so important to get out and show kids that there are people who care about them, who are willing to take time out of their own lives to do something that improves their environment. It doesn’t take much to inspire a child and to make sure they have the tools to succeed in life.”

Another long-term member of the Omnicom Family, Robyn Pyles, had this to add: “It’s a beautiful thing to be able to give something back, to share whatever I can with those who have not been as fortunate as I have been.”

Over the next few days we’ll be posting the “before” pictures, so you can see for yourself the need for Omnicom’s 2009 Service Day. We’ll also be posting a lot more about the “Microsociety” Project, and why it is so important to the future well-being of the children involved at the school. Check back for more information on how you too can participate!

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More Events From Abroad

March 15th, 2009

On October 31st in Shanghai, our Diversified Agency Services (DAS) partnered with Unisono Field Marketing to create a special service event: the Omnicom Charity Soccer Tournament, inspired by Simon Dalby, President of DAS Asia Pacific.

132 people from ten Omnicom agencies in China attended this day of fun and fulfillment raising funds for the charity “Braille Without Borders” (BWB). BWB is run by Sabriye Tenberken to enable blind people to become self-sufficient and able to make a positive contribution to the society in which they live. Sabriye, blind herself from the age of 12, has been recognized by the Chinese Government as one of the most influential foreign experts in China over the past three decades.

The format of the event was a knock-out, five-a-side soccer tournament. Each team brought their own cheerleaders and there was a charity auction as well as family activities. Each agency found creative ways to donate money, from pledging dollars per goal scored, raffle prizes or even most impressive cheerleading routine. Looks like a great time, and wish we could’ve been there to film it ourselves! Great job!

To learn more about the Braille Without Borders project or to donate, please click here. And if you’re with an Omnicom Agency and have a Service Day to tell us about, please let us know so we can share it as well.

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OmnicomCares in South Boston

June 15th, 2008

On June 7th, 2008, Omnicom brought together a team of Omnicom employees and executives in town for an Omnicom conference to rejuvenate two locations in the historic community of South Boston. With public housing dominating the landscape and dilapidated playgrounds everywhere, OmnicomCares wanted to make sure families in “Southie” have a safe, fun, and nurturing environment to raise their families. Even before the event began, the team received many letters of gratitude from the leaders of the Old Colony Teen Center – one of which read: “Omnicom and City Year have both restored my faith in humanity. It is because of people like you, that make my vision seem not so far away.”

Not only did the Omnicom Family give of its time, but also donated $50,000 to the Center.

In short, the video from the event speaks for itself.  It was an inspiring event, and showcased both the dedication and creativity found within the Omnicom Family.

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