June 28, 2018 - By Ginna Hall, Senior Writer, Nielsen Visual IQ
On June 21, the Visual IQ team joined thousands of other Nielsen employees around the world for the company’s seventh annual global celebration of service.
Almost 30 volunteers spent the morning pitching in at New England Base Camp, an 8,000-acre space in the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, MA operated by the Boy Scouts Spirit of Adventure Council.
The camp is run by a skeleton crew who rely on community support to maintain their extensive programming including outdoor education for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as activities for school field trips, corporate outings, and the general public.
“I decided to volunteer to spend time outside of the office with co-workers, doing something both fun and good for our community,” said Moira Freeman, Product Marketing Manager, Visual IQ. “Volunteering is important because it gives us the opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of others so we can learn more about core issues, support programs and initiatives, and raise awareness.”
Programs at the camp help those from different backgrounds work toward common goals and learn about each other. The camp gets many visits from Scouts who live in densely populated neighborhoods in Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and other cities. Many of them are first- or second-generation immigrants or racial minorities with roots in the United States.
“I decided to volunteer because it's important to pay it forward and if everyone does a little bit it makes a big impact,” said Jillian Lusk, Sr. Account Manager.
It was a beautiful New England day as Visual IQ met at camp headquarters, where we were greeted by Chuck Eaton, Chief Executive Officer at Spirit of Adventure Council BSA, before heading out to work. We gathered at the equipment barn to grab gloves, ladders, paintbrushes, rakes and other supplies and learn about projects for the day.
The overall goal was to make the camp safer and more fun for the kids and make paths easier to follow. This included installing a fence, raking up last fall’s leaves, removing sticks and stray rocks that campers could trip on, and cleaning out old mulch to cut down on ticks.
Each group rolled up their sleeves and got to work. We raked, weeded, and mulched campsites; painted cabins; cleared trails; and dug post holes for a new 12-foot fence. Some loaded equipment onto a truck bound for another site.
“Giving back to the community is a core component of the culture at Nielsen. Our time at New England Base Camp not only gave me an opportunity to make a difference in a child's life, but also to build stronger relationships with my colleagues. It was an incredible experience, and I look forward to many more volunteer opportunities to come,” said Anne Curtin, Sr. Director of Marketing, Visual IQ.
“The fun we had building the fence and raising the entrance way to the campground for kids was a rewarding experience. As with other volunteering opportunities, I felt fortunate to have learned something new by working in unison with colleagues,” said Paramesh Laxminarayan, Director of Product Management.
The company launched Nielsen Global Impact Day to encourage employees to make an impact in the communities where they live and work.
“I believe if each one of us gave back, imagine the sheer impact we would have in this world as a whole. I also feel it is important to support events in the workplace such as Nielsen Global Impact Day because it fosters an ethos of positively and change,” said Ameeta Nath, HR Business Partner.
Last year, more than 23,000 employees from 89 countries participated in over 1,500 volunteer activities. The combined impact of volunteers around the world is staggering, as local teams make a real difference in the markets where the company operates.
“Nielsen Global Impact Day has become such a fundamental part of who we are because it connects to our purpose. Volunteering helps us care for the communities where we operate. It makes us feel more engaged and connected—to each other and to Nielsen,” said Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes in company email. “The power of Nielsen’s impact on our clients, communities and one another inspires me every day.”
The day was a global call to action that was part of the year-round Nielsen Cares employee volunteer program, which empowers associates to use their skills, expertise and Nielsen’s capabilities to make a difference in our communities.
“It is always rewarding to be able to give back to the community we live in, especially at places like New England Base Camp where they are empowering kids to learn more about the world around them. Keeping the facilities beautiful will only help ensure that families can continue to enjoy this great adventure space,” said Ben Porter, Corporate Sales Representative.
The company encourages staff members to dedicate time to volunteering year-round and makes it easy for volunteers to find out about events happening nearby, connect with team leaders and other employees, and see projects at local non-profits.
“As a big organization, we often get stuck in the trenches of our work and forget to come up for air and notice what we have and what those around us may not,” said Nehal Patel, Client Partner, Visual IQ. “Nielsen Global Impact Day was a great way for an entire company to shut down and give back to the community. I was grateful to be a part of that. And what an impact it was -- globally!”
Read more about our volunteer initiatives: Visual IQ Gives Back: Volunteers Make a Difference in 2017