At Stryker, we invest in the power of helping those in need and giving back to our communities. Whether it’s by volunteering locally or donating globally, our people are driven to give. We work to advance healthcare, support education, improve environmental health and enrich community culture — while keeping equity top of mind. Through our social impact efforts, we aim to create lasting change with stronger people and a healthier planet. Our charitable giving is amplified when employees are given the time to volunteer their talents.
That’s why Stryker launched the 2023 Volunteer Challenge — an initiative challenging every employee to volunteer the equivalent of one day in 2023 and track it on Impact, our global giving and volunteering platform.
Stryker’s Chair and CEO, Kevin Lobo, announced the launch in February, empowering employees to amplify our impact worldwide. Employees can utilize their Volunteer Leave of Absence* to spend a day giving back to those in need.
“We’re a successful company, and with success comes responsibility,” said Kevin. “We want to help uplift our communities around the world.”
In addition to a paid day of volunteering, employees can also earn rewards for their time. For every hour of volunteer time tracked on Impact, employees earn money to donate to the causes they wish to support.
The impact of the 2023 Volunteer Challenge is already evident. This year, more employees have already volunteered and tracked their time in the first quarter than in all of 2022.
Across the globe, Stryker employees are volunteering to make a difference.
Shaping the future of vulnerable Colombian youth
For children and young adults growing up in unstable environments, higher education can seem unattainable. When each day is spent searching for food, water and shelter, very little time is left for thinking of the future.
That’s why Jennifer Rodriguez, a Senior HR Specialist in Colombia, set out to educate and inspire at-risk youth. By introducing them to Stryker, she hoped to spark an interest in the medical industry and highlight available opportunities. To achieve her goal, Jennifer collaborated with a nonprofit organization committed to the protection and rehabilitation of street children facing conditions of great vulnerability and violation of their fundamental rights.
After two months of hard work and collaboration, the initiative took place on March 31. With the help of a product showroom and support from a team of 25 volunteers, the day was spent inspiring the young adults to enter the medical field. “The most rewarding part of this volunteer day was seeing their interest in Stryker products,” said Jennifer. “It was beautiful to hear their dreams for the future.”
This volunteer day gave each of the 25 employees the opportunity to earn rewards to donate to a charity of their choice, further expanding the extent of their impact.
This story is just a glimpse into the monumental impact that our first volunteer challenge has already created, actively supporting employees to create lasting change in the world.
“The 2023 Volunteer Challenge mobilizes us as individuals and as a company,” said Jennifer. “It allows us to create global awareness and empowers local communities, serving as a source of inspiration and multiplication to join efforts in the search for a better world.”
Helping his homeland recover from a deadly earthquake
In early February, a devasting 7.8-magnitude earthquake ripped through southeastern Turkey. Tens of thousands of people were killed with whole cities and towns flattened, creating an urgent humanitarian crisis.
Can Ozan Adiguzel, a Supplier Quality Engineer in France, felt compelled to aid his native country. “It still terrifies me to think about it,” said Can. “All of my family and some of my friends still live in Turkey and were near the impacted areas.” He decided to embark on a mission to aid the victims impacted by this disaster.
Traveling with a group of European volunteers, Can visited two major cities and 36 villages while distributing vital resources to Turkish families.
A key point in Can’s mission took place at a field hospital set up by the French government. Utilizing his unique skillset as a bilingual speaker, Can spent two days of his trip serving as a translator for the hospital and its patients.
Thanks to Stryker's volunteer rewards program, Can’s week of humanitarian aid generated additional benefits. For every hour tracked throughout his trip, Can earned money on Impact to give back to a cause of his choice.
“You get home after a trip like this, and you feel so grateful for what you have,” says Can. “There are people all around the world that need our help, and I hope my story inspires Stryker employees to get involved in volunteering activities.”
*Guaranteed through the U.S. paid leave of absence program; employees outside of the U.S. are following local guidance for paid volunteer time.