Last week, hundreds in the Viacom family came out and gave big at the 4th annual Give Back & Get Down celebration. Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman, Tom Dooley, Chief Operating Officer, and Marva Smalls, EVP of Global Inclusion Strategy, were all on hand to kick off this holiday giving event benefiting our troops and veterans. This year Viacom employees donated winter clothes, over 6,000 DVDs and 20,000lbs of canned goods to benefit AM VETS and United War Veterans Council, two organizations that work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for vets and their families.
To get the crowd swaying, actor turned singer Mack Wilds took to the stage to perform songs from his Grammy nominated rookie LP New York: A Love Story. Employees were excited to see the New York native perform – many remember when he burst into the Hollywood spotlight with starring roles on HBO’s “The Wire” and CW’s “90210”.
This annual event is hosted by Viacom’s seven Affinity Groups (AMP, The Beat, Emerge, HERE, Somos, The Parenthood and Thursday Think) in partnership with the office of Global Inclusion and Employee Events. These teams collaborated to create a patriotic and spirited event complete with a presentation by the ROTC Color Guard and plenty of apple pie. A highlight was the recognition of Viacom’s own employee vets followed by remarks from Spike President, Kevin Kay, about how the network’s Hire A Vet is making a significant difference increasing employment opportunities for vets nationwide.
The donation room overflowed at the conclusion of the program and I caught up with Give Back & Give Down’s co-producer Tara Shaw about this year’s participation. “It’s inspiring to see the number of Viacom employees who made time to volunteer for the event and made generous donations to the charities” said Tara Shaw, Executive Assistant, Nickelodeon Digital Games.
A big thanks to all the employee organizers and volunteers involved, because of their efforts thousands of goods will ship directly to our vets for the chilly, winter months ahead.