I have been volunteering and involved in community service my entire life. It's part of how I grew up, it's part of what my parents did, and I was brought up volunteering in soup kitchens and after-school programs. When I started working here, I was really excited about our giving programs. For me, work is more than just the job that we do, but how we impact society and the world around us. It's so much bigger than the building you come into every day. Our volunteer and giving opportunities provide a chance for employees to find connection outside of their department or function, where they may have otherwise never crossed paths. It's the secret sauce of what makes this a great company. We've made such a concerted effort as a company to have a larger footprint in the community than just providing jobs for people. We are also here to contribute to the communities where we live and work.
We had to be flexible and nimble in 2020. We pivoted within programs to ensure that employees were able to keep their connection to aspects of working here that are important to them. 2020 was the year of possibilities. We knew what we couldn't do, but had to discover and create what was possible for us to do? Our partnership with HandsOn Greater Richmond helped create opportunities for employees to continue to extend their service and volunteerism while staying safe. We knew that people love to assemble kits. How can we do more kitting activities where people can get materials and create a volunteer activity in their homes? We adjusted our approach to maintain safety and responsibility, and by design only had opportunities that would keep employees safe.
I love how Altria Contributing Together (act) has continued to evolve. We've moved from a focus on giving financially to a holistic sense of giving – of time, of talents and of treasure. It has evolved to meet the needs of the changing world. Because of this, act instills a real sense of pride for employees. We are able to see that our organization is not only committed to its mission and goals of creating superior branded products but also to enhancing and enriching the communities where our employees work and live.