Viacom Gives Back, Gets Down for Hurricane Relief

Valerie Wire by Valerie Wire, Viacom

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‘Tis the season of giving, and Viacom’s Office of Global Inclusion kicked the season off right this year with its third annual Give Back & Get Down celebration, an organized company-wide collection drive culminating in a huge party. Leading up to the event, which was a collaborative effort of Viacom’s six Employee Affinity Groups, collection boxes to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts were set up across all Viacom locations in NYC.

A week and a half later — the day of the party — there was plenty of reason to celebrate: the groups surpassed their goal of 22,000 pounds of items by then, and made plans to send out another truckload of items.

The event took over The Lodge (the cafeteria here at our NYC headquarters) and the entire floor for that matter — from the moment you stepped out of the elevator, neon lights were flashing, and the bass was thumping.  (I would like to dub what The Lodge had been transformed into as “Via-club” – Viacom’s club dedicated partying with a purpose, complete with cocktails, tablecloths in the perfect shade of Viacom blue, delicious hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth, and DJ Illah spinning everything from Beyonce to Justin Bieber.) The entire scene was set against the sparkling lights of Times Square, which made for the perfect backdrop.

Renee Jackson, production manager at BET News and one of the executive producers of Give Back & Get Down, said “the employees that have been affected most are the ones who want to give the most, and that has been very touching.”

But it wasn’t only those affected lending their support.

“It’s been amazing to see all of the employees getting involved, on top of their regular jobs,” Jackson said.

All donations from the event will be divided among City Harvest, Tunnels to Towers and Red Hook Initiative, three New York-based organizations working to help those most affected by Hurricane Sandy.

As part of the Viacom community – the Viacommunity – there was no possible better way to kick off the season of giving, and no possible way to feel more proud to be part of such a giving community and company.

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