As part of our “Three Questions With …” blog series, we’re sharing stories from the who’s who of our volunteers, philanthropists, and prominent Chicagoans.

Today, we’re excited to feature Patty White, Chicago Cares’ vice president of corporate engagement strategy & development. Patty’s role is largely focused on connecting corporations—and their people—to communities and causes through volunteerism. In 2013 alone, we engaged more than 11,000 corporate volunteers in service through 96 custom projects supporting diverse issue areas, communities and demographics.

1) Why should corporations engage in volunteerism?

Because it allows them to do well by doing good. Research* shows that volunteering helps cultivate critical business and leadership skills while fostering employee engagement. And companies with highly engaged employees have significantly higher retention, operating margins and earnings per share. At a time when Millennials—80 million strong—want to work for organizations with corporate social responsibility programs, corporate volunteerism is a business imperative.

*According to studies from The Case Foundation, Deloitte, Gallup, Hewitt Associates, PwC, Towers Watson.

2) Tell us about an upcoming corporate volunteer project.

Today, several hundred Motorola Mobility employees will give their time at five local schools and nonprofits. The organization recently moved 2,000 employees from Libertyville to downtown Chicago, and this is a great way to integrate those employees into the diverse neighborhoods of Chicago.

These volunteers will help enhance learning spaces at schools, revive public gardens and engage kindergarteners in learning. In all, they’ll contribute more than 2,000 hours of service in just one day, which we’re very happy about. They will be sharing their activities on Facebook and Twitter, and we hope it gets others excited about volunteering.

Chicago Cares is very proud of our budding relationship with Motorola Mobility Foundation and organizations like it who want to leave a positive mark where their employees and customers live and work.


3)  What does Chicago look like to you? Feel free to share thoughts on Chicago’s personality, opportunities, and/or challenges.

Chicago is a city of great character and culture. It is a place where people come together to rally around ideals and take action. Chicago’s residents always want to do more and be more, and that’s the great thing about my job. Every day, I offer corporations a platform to put their employees’ hearts, hands and minds to work for the betterment of our city.

We’re celebrating the diverse and dynamic voices that make a difference in our city and are inviting all to be part of the conversation! Please continue to share what Chicago means to you through tweets, pictures, videos, and more using hashtag #MyChi.