Eight Years In, Watching Goals Become Realities

Today’s guest blog comes from Sherrie Bossung, director of community engagement at Lilly and vice president of the Lilly Foundation.

As I gear up for Lilly’s eighth Global Day of Service on October 1, it’s exciting to reflect back on how far this initiative has come! Global Day of Service (GDOS) began in 2007 in Indianapolis as a small partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. We always had a larger goal of motivating employees globally to give back to their communities, and I’m in awe each year as I watch that goal become a reality. This year, not only are we eager to embark on our eighth Global Day of Service, but we are also excited to take part in our headquarters city’s third Indy Do Day.

Inspired by the impact of Global Day of Service, several Indianapolis community and civic leaders—from nonprofits, businesses and faith-based organizations—came together in 2013 to create a city-wide service initiative known as Indy Do Day. This people-powered effort encourages all Indianapolis residents and businesses to find service projects, both big and small, that will have a positive impact on our city.

In a recent presentation to the Economic Club of Indiana, our Chairman, President and CEO, John Lechleiter stated, “The health of our communities is a major factor in determining the health of our businesses.” He went on to outline the importance of positively influencing community development and explained that it has led Lilly to sharpen the focus and increase the impact of our corporate foundation and employee volunteer and giving programs.

We have held our Global Day of Service during Indy Do Day since 2013 as a commitment to our headquarters city’s initiative and as a way to improve health and livability in our community through service. Our goal, along with many of our partners, is to help Indianapolis become one of the most civically engaged cities in the U.S.—and we’re off to a great start. Following this model, imagine the collective impact we all could have on the world if each city or community came together one day (or more!) a year to help its neighbors.

Indianapolis 2014 GDOS 12 - Mural

As Lilly employees around the world step out into their communities on October 1 to put our brand promise of making life better into action, I challenge each of you to get involved in your local communities. Whether you are part of a large corporation or you are one neighbor helping another neighbor, every project helps make our world a better place.

And if you’re here in Indianapolis, I encourage you to visit Indy Do Day’s website and create your own project or sign up to volunteer, and start thinking about projects for 2016.

Be sure to follow our Global Day of Service and Indy Do Day action in real time on our social event hub. Together, we can make our city a better place to live and work.  


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