Volunteering is an aspect of community engagement in which many Altria employees take great pride. That’s why, when the pandemic interrupted in-person volunteering, the Altria Contributing Together (act) team created virtual volunteering opportunities that we can complete from anywhere, using a computer or smartphone. From virtual tutoring and mentoring organizations to crisis hotlines, there was something for any employee interested in getting more involved while safely volunteering from a distance.
In 2020 Altria’s Rise Employee Resource Group partnered with The Next Move Program, a local Richmond non-profit, to fund a completely virtual internship program for adults with disabilities. The employee resource group supported 20 adults in the Richmond community with filmed on-the-job videos of Altria people working on various tasks, allowing neuro-diverse adults to learn about different skills. Rise was able to support the community, engage their members in virtual volunteering and build a lasting impact in this internship platform that the organization can continue to leverage for years to come. While COVID-19 had previously suspended Next Move’s programming, the grant enables the organization to continue providing a vital service in the community.
The passion for this effort started in Philip Morris USA’s Manufacturing Center, where our heavily scheduled manufacturing employees committed to volunteering extra time to complete the project. They created video content, worked through logistics and determined what would be most impactful for the Next Move Program participants all while navigating COVID-19 for the business.