Colleagues from across 21st Century Fox businesses came together in October for the company’s inaugural 21CF Impact Week, six straight days of volunteering opportunities for employees based in New York, Los Angeles and select U.S. cities. From October 17-22, 2016, colleagues worked with local nonprofits to empower students to pursue science and the arts, fundraised for multiple charities, assembled care and meal packages, and much more. The effort represented the largest concerted volunteer effort in the company’s history, with more than 1,100 colleagues participating in approximately 2,100 hours of service. In the coming years, 21CF expects to further expand 21CF Impact Week to every community where its colleagues live and work, both in the U.S. and around the globe.
Impact Week was born out of the company’s long history of volunteering, which had historically been organized at the local level. FoxGives, the employee group working across 21CF businesses based at the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles, was launched nearly a decade ago and organizes volunteer projects on a near monthly basis. 21CF regularly works with nonprofits and service organizations in New York to give colleagues opportunities to get involved in their community, as well. To support the company’s mission to unlock the potential of the communities it serves, and to better connect colleagues across the business, the company launched 21CF Impact Week in 2016, harnessing the collective passion and expertise of 21CF employees into one concentrated effort.
21CF worked to structure Impact Week according to the company’s Social Impact priorities, which include creativity & the arts, knowledge & exploration, and sports & well-being. A detailed look at the volunteer projects available in each city is below:
Events in New York convened colleagues from all local businesses, including FOX 5, Blue Sky Studios, National Geographic Partners, 20th Century Fox, FOX Sports, Blue Sky, and more. A sampling of events can be found below:
- Photography Exploration Workshop – Amateur photographers from 21CF businesses, with the help of a National Geographic photo editor, explored the basics of photography in Central Park with third-graders from Alain L. Lock Magnet School for Environmental Students.
- Senior Movie Night & Ice Cream Social – Seniors at the Lott Assisted Living Residence in East Harlem were treated to an ice cream social, as well as a sing-along screening of The Sound of Music led by a professional vocalist from Julliard.
- Gym Teacher for a Day – Colleagues set up sports, relay races, obstacle courses, and more for elementary school students at Pedro Albizu Campos.
- Science Scavenger Hunt – With the help of several dozen 21CF staffers, the young students of Raymond York Elementary roamed the American Museum of Natural History for an interactive learning activity.
- Operation Education: Student Supply Kits – 21CF employees convened at the corporate headquarters to pack school supplies for the students and teachers at the Bushwick School for Social Justice.
- Making Cents Finance Workshop – 21CF teams visited public high school students to host a workshop on personal finance principles, including saving money and making budgets.
- New York Cares Day – A longstanding tradition for 21CF in New York, colleagues helped foster a positive learning environment at a local public high school by painting community spaces and organizing classrooms and the library.
The FoxGives team centered LA efforts around two tent-pole events:
- ‘Stop Hunger Now’ Meal Packaging – Fox employees worked around the clock with longtime FoxGives charity partner Stop Hunger Now to package more than 20,000 meals. The organization provides food to people critically in need all over the world.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show Hike for Charity – In honor of FOX’s live musical special Rocky Horror Picture Show, colleagues donned costumes for a walk/run through the Fox lot and its surrounding neighborhood. The event raised $10,000 for the following LA-area charities, which Fox employees selected: AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Para Los Niños, The Midnight Mission, Project Angel Food and the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
21CF Impact Week also saw the launch of the Fox Pro Bono Council, created to facilitate pro bono legal work by members of Fox’s business and legal affairs team. Through a partnership with Bet Tzedek, several Fox employees will volunteer and staff Conservatorship Clinics in the LA area.
The team at FOX Sports Arizona spent a day at local Boys & Girls Clubs for a unique drawing contest called “Art of the Athletes,” where FSAZ volunteers helped the children to draw their favorite professional athletes on Arizona teams. Employees served as mentors for the day, listening to the children share their experiences and fostering their artistic talent. At the end of the day, the children voted on the top drawings, which were later featured on-air during promos and a pregame show for the Arizona Coyotes.
FOX Sports Midwest staff assembled race packets and supplies for Girls on the Run St. Louis. The Girls on the Run St. Louis Fall program has over 124 teams with 2,407 girls. The 10-week program helps third- to eighth-grade girls build their self-esteem and confidence.
Across all U.S. projects during Impact Week, 21CF estimates that 1,100 colleagues participated in a collective 2,100 hours of service. They packaged more than 20,000 meals to feed the hungry, served 635 students, created care packages for 180 military servicemen and women, and walked 566 miles for charitable causes. According to CEO James Murdoch, who volunteered at the New York events, 21CF’s employee base is uniquely driven to make a positive impact in their communities:
“We’ve got great, talented people, and the more they can apply themselves to making a difference in the community, the better of they’ll be, the better off the business will be and the better off the community at large will be,” he said.
Those who participated offered similar thoughts, reflecting on how important it was for them for the company to empower its people to make a difference.
“It was a really fulfilling experience,” said a 21CF colleague. “I think it’s important for all of us that are so fortunate in our lives to take the time to step back and appreciate that by helping others.”
21CF will roll out the program to the rest of the U.S. as well as internationally, during future 21CF Impact Weeks.