2012 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Los Alamos National Laboratory

2012 Finalist: Los Alamos National Laboratory

On May 17, 2012, winners of the 2012 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual  VolunteerMatch Client Summit in San Francisco, CA.

In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to the facts and folks behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients compared against our 2011 benchmarks.

VolunteerMatch congratulates Los Alamos National Laboratory for its nomination for Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Large Business).

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Vecinos Volunteer Program (“Vecinos” means “neighbors” in Spanish) began in 2006 with 75 employee and retiree volunteers. Since then, its numbers have grown to 2,500 volunteers in 2012. The Vecinos Volunteer Program boasts a unique volunteer workforce, consisted of primarily PhD scientists, physicists and engineers. They have offered educational institutions cutting edge science, math, and technology volunteers to enhance their learning capabilities and have so far volunteered for 300 nonprofits in the New Mexico area in 2011.

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s nonprofit partners include United Way of Santa Fe County, United Way of Northern New Mexico, Espanola Valley Humane Society, and Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

Los Alamos volunteer highlights include:

  • Since teaming up with VolunteerMatch in 2007, Los Alamos hit  total 1 million volunteer hours in spring 2011.
  • Los Alamos National Security (Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management company) rewards employee volunteers with an annual monetary award (based on hours logged) that can be donated to a nonprofit on their behalf. The awards range from $100 – 500 per volunteer. In 2011, LANS gave more than $160,000 to nonprofit organizations on behalf of employee and retiree volunteers.
  • The Las Conchas Wildfire erupted in June 2011 and within a week it destroyed more than 160,000 acres of Los Alamos and neighboring communities and 12,000 Los Alamos residents had been evacuated. Vecinos volunteers posted needs and opportunities on VolunteerMatch and Facebook, using the two sites to seek housing for evacuees and solicit volunteers. A handful of volunteers stayed in Los Alamos to help cook for the firefighters and deliver supplies to the fire line. Others worked 12 hour shifts in the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center. Vecinos volunteers also organized to help their neighbors in Santa Clara Indian Pueblo fill 70,000 sand bags in anticipation of floods from the rains. Volunteers organized a pet supply drive to replenish the two animal shelters that had taken in more than 3,000 evacuated animals during the fire. Within a one week period, the drive raised more than $3,000 and delivered 1,000 lbs of dry pet food, 1,000 lbs of cat litter, 2,000 cans of pet food and 3,000 pet toys. Los Alamos also donated more than $57,000 to local business that had remained open during the fire to provide services to the firefighters.

We commend Los Alamos National Laboratory for its service in its community and for facilitating an excellent volunteer program!

 Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on May 17, 2012 during the 2012 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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