Reflecting back on Fusion 2017 brings many pictures to mind. From exciting innovation, networking and keynotes to exhibitor booths, happy hours and social events, a definite highlight of the week was the Chicago Cares volunteering event.
Volunteering is very important at Concur. In fact, giving back to the community is what we do, which is why a Fusion focal point was “Think Global, Act Local.” Mike Eberhard, Concur President, comments:
This year at Fusion we were proud to partner with Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Cares to help improve school facilities and provide students with an enriched place to learn and grow. Studies show that a well-maintained educational environment sends positive messages to children that contribute to their sense of self-worth and motivation to learn, and we were happy to provide these children with a refreshed learning environment while also giving back to the community.
Each year, Concur provides an opportunity for Fusion attendees to give back to the community. Since our event was in Chicago this year, we partnered with nonprofit Chicago Cares to bring together volunteers to help solve one of Chicago’s most pressing challenges.
Enriching Lives through Art and Ambiance
Beautifying schools through artistic murals was the Fusion activity at hand—literally. Pre-stenciled murals of visuals selected by the schools were in high-demand. Everyone wanted to partake in the caring ethos, from customers to partners to Concur employees, and conference goers could literally ‘feel the love’ at the event. Carrie Peters, Concur Corporate Communications Director, commented, “I’m not artistic at all but working alongside colleagues and customers to create these vibrant pieces of art was very fun.”
In addition to painting thirteen murals over the two days, Concur also provided a donation that will go towards facility improvement supplies and labor at Chicago Public schools. Work will include painting, building benches, adding mosaics, assembling cubbies and more.
Education as a Philanthropic Mission
Giving back to the community is not new to Fusion. In fact, each year, Concur provides an opportunity for attendees to participate in a charitable event. We are thrilled, however, that the philanthropic mission this year aligned with our Corporate Social Responsibility overarching education focus.
A recent Chicago Tribune article informed that Chicago public schools have a 73.5 percent graduation rate. In light of this information, Concur wanted to help – especially since Chicago Public Schools often go long periods of time without any school building maintenance or improvement due to tight budget cuts, and also have high poverty numbers. All who contribution work during the event most likely would not have happened without the help of many caring Fusion attendees.
“Leave it better than you found it” resonated during the event. Storm Stella may have interfered with volunteer work at local schools, but everyone agreed that the mural work done in the expo hall and monies donated will make a difference in the lives of Chicago children. The murals will be displayed in selected schools and will benefit over 1,100 students.
Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers we had at Fusion 2017!