Volunteerism: Engaging with our communities for the good of generations

This International Volunteer Day, we’re recognizing the tireless work of our Henkel employees and all those who give their time to help others.

Commitment People Sustainability Dec 5, 2022
Collage of group photos

To be a volunteer is to be part of a global community of nearly one billion people who selflessly give their time and efforts to help others. Each December 5, as part of International Volunteer Day, we celebrate the efforts of these individuals and recognize the impact and power volunteerism has on communities.

Volunteering is part of a legacy of care upon which Henkel was founded, and it remains our mission to reimagine what communities can look like and find ways to improve lives and help people thrive. Our employees step up and give back in various ways to help the communities where they work and live. Their efforts this year have benefitted more than 110,000 people and supported 80 organizations working to advance education, equity, the environment, well-being and more.

Reflecting on a responsibility to give back

Robert McNamee, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Henkel North America, believes his skills have been shaped by those who gave their time and efforts to help mentor him. As a result, he gives back and has tried to return that mentorship through his own volunteer work with groups like Habitat for Humanity, Little Manchester Road Race and his prior service as a volunteer firefighter.

“I believe we have a responsibility to share our talents and skills with others and the broader community, to pay it forward,” says Robert.

Man watching racetrack

Henkel’s Robert McNamee kicked off the Little Manchester Road Race, which collects donations for a local food pantry and encourages children of all ages to participate in a healthy activity.

Volunteering is an opportunity to give and receive

Robert believes that volunteering not only helps those receiving support, but also benefits how those who volunteer see the world and their community. Early in his career, Robert volunteered to lend his legal expertise to help a family of four seeking asylum in the U.S. They had fled their home in Colombia in fear of their lives and worked hard for five years to educate themselves and be part of the U.S. community.  

Robert says the experience of working with that family shaped him and his passion for giving back. He notes “Of all the cases I’ve worked on, I consider that asylum matter to be among my most rewarding and meaningful experiences as a lawyer.”

Henkel volunteers are seeing the benefit of these meaningful experiences, as well. When giving their time and skills, volunteers get a sense of fulfillment and happiness that is hard to find anywhere else.  It is also an opportunity to build relationships, break down silos and see things from different perspectives. For companies like Henkel, it also can help develop future leaders.

“We all have an obligation to become better leaders, and volunteer organizations are craving leaders. Volunteering offers opportunities to lead that may not be available at work. There’s not a better way to build new skills or get more hands-on leadership experience than through volunteering,” Robert says.

A reflection of our values

We are united by our desire to help those around us. Volunteerism reflects corporate values and at Henkel is embedded in our culture and commitment to help communities thrive. Robert is inspired and humbled by the energy, collaboration, and caring spirit of Henkel employees.

“Our volunteers join together from across different departments to lend their time and talent to support causes that range from STEM education and skills training and fighting food insecurity, to participating in local community clean up events and helping families find a path to homeownership. Volunteering is part of improving lives so all can have a better future, and this International Volunteer Day we celebrate the Henkel volunteers who give back to help others,” Robert says.

YouTube Thumbnail International Volunteer Day at Henkel (Thumbnail)

Please enjoy highlights of Henkel volunteers and community partners helping to improve lives.