In 2014, Blackstone employees worldwide gave back to their local communities through Blackstone’s Global Volunteer Days organized around the world. Over the course of the year, more than 1,100 Blackstone employees from eight of our offices participated in volunteer events, donating a total of 3,963 hours to various organizations.
On October 24th a team of fourteen employees from Blackstone’s Tokyo office launched a partnership with Hilton Worldwide in Japan and Playground of Hope (“PoH”), to build play facilities and clean-up the play area at the “Kodomono-no-ie”(House for Children) orphanage in Kiyose, Tokyo. The group built a large outdoor play set, set-up benches, a picnic table and a barbecue pit, and cleaned up the orphanage’s expansive green space.
Also on October 24th, twenty-one employees from Blackstone’s Hong Kong office participated in a beach clean-up with HandsOn Hong Kong, an NGO dedicated to community based volunteerism. Blackstone volunteers removed foam, trash and other debris at Sandy Bay beach, collecting approximately 100 pounds of trash.
Blackstone’s Dublin office participated in Debra Ireland’s EB Awareness Day on October 24th to kick start its volunteer work in the Irish capital. EB is rare genetic skin condition (Epidermolysis Bullosa, “EB”) which makes functioning in everyday life very difficult. There is currently no treatment for EB, so the day’s focus is on patient support and wound care management, research initiatives, and collaboration with international researchers to find a cure. The Dublin office was decked out with blue balloons and butterfly tattoo posters, with the Blackstone team sporting butterfly tattoos. Everyone was asked to donate and overall the charity raised €60,000 on EB Awareness Day which will help hire a home nurse of EB patients.
On November 12th, fifteen employees from Blackstone’s Singapore office volunteered with children from Rainbow Centre, Margaret Drive School (RCMDS). The Blackstone team worked with sixteen special needs students and their siblings to help build the children’s fine and gross motor skills through games and activities, work on communication and social skills through interaction, and to explore their cognitive abilities and creativity through kite-decoration and kite-flying activities.
RCMDS provides special education (SPED) and early intervention programs (EIP) for children with special needs, as young as 2 years old. They adopt a holistic developmental curriculum in the areas of language, communication, cognitive, social and emotional skills, fine and gross motor skills, and adaptive daily living skills.
On November 29th, forty employees in Blackstone’s Mumbai office worked with sixty Magic Bus Youth Leaders to teach confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership through various group activities. “Magic Bus”, is an NGO that uses a sports-based curriculum to engage, coach and provide opportunities to children from marginalized communities.
Employees from Blackstone’s Boston office participated in an annual holiday toy drive to benefit Boston Department of Children and Families (DCF) foster children by collecting gifts to be delivered on December 12th.
In September, eighty employees from Blackstone’s London office volunteered at the Tower of London to assemble and plant ceramic poppies as part of The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, a major art installation memorializing the 100th anniversary of World War I.
On October 17th, sixty-five employees from Blackstone’s New York headquarters volunteered with New York Cares and the Riverside Park Conservancy to clean-up New York’s Riverside Park. Over the course of the day, the Blackstone team cleared out 5,100 square feet of the park, removed 20 bags of debris, and installed 75 plants.