Threading goodness into the fabric of our communities

VMLY&R Worldwide Foundation Day 2023

Upholding a long-standing tradition, VMLY&R will close its extensive network of more than 80 offices across the globe for normal business on Thursday, Sept. 28, to give over 13,000 employees the opportunity to champion worthy causes and nonprofit organizations of their choice through volunteer service.

This year’s theme for VMLY&R’s Worldwide Foundation Day is “Connected Threads,” reminding employees that regardless of whether they engage virtually or in person, individually or with a small group, or with family members — giving back is the thread that connects us. The global effort aims to highlight the collective impact of all employees rolling up their sleeves to contribute in meaningful ways, spanning the 24-hour period.

“Giving back has been core to VMLY&R since day one,” said Jon Cook, VMLY&R global CEO. “It’s important for us to support the communities that nurture our business success. Our employees consider it the ultimate responsibility to advocate for important causes in all our office locations and beyond.”

VMLY&R Worldwide Foundation Day is a signature feature of the agency’s overall community outreach program. In the U.S., the VMLY&R Foundation is an employee-funded and employee-led charitable entity operating under 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. 

Employees are invited to financially support the Foundation through payroll deduction contributions ($5 or more per pay period). Foundation members receive tangible financial benefits, including the ability to secure charitable grants and participate in a $2 to $1 matching gift program.

Earlier this year, the VMLY&R Foundation celebrated a wonderful milestone, surpassing the $3 million mark in collective charitable contributions since its inception in 2005. This achievement was made possible thanks to the abundant generosity of VMLY&R employees who participate in the U.S. employee giving program through payroll giving.

"We have seen how purposeful moments of togetherness can make a positive impact — both in the communities where we operate and in a shared employee experience,” said Lauren Ziegler, VMLY&R Foundation associate director. “Over the years, Foundation Day has enabled us to support literally hundreds and hundreds of worthy causes and nonprofit organizations around the globe championed by our team members.”

Additionally, the VMLY&R Foundation supports an array of pro bono services for nonprofit organizations. Each employee also has 16 hours of paid volunteer hours annually — beyond Foundation Day — to engage in community betterment.

To learn more about the Foundation, please visit

Follow VMLY&R Foundation Day activities via hashtag #WeAreVMLYR and
This year, VMLY&R employees will donate time and talents to dozens of nonprofit and community organizations, including:

Global Spotlights

VMLY&R Brazil – Partnering with Mutato on several meaningful initiatives throughout the month of September, including nursing home visits, supporting a local animal shelter and hosting a blood drive. The team is organizing a beach cleanup in Rio de Janeiro on Foundation Day.

VMLY&R China — Reading and recording bedtime stories. This project aims to decrease insomnia, loneliness, and anxiety and comfort children in need.

VMLY&R Dubai — Partnering withFeed a Labour to provide food and hygiene products to local laborers, the unsung heroes helping to build the country.

VMLY&R Lebanon/Beirut — Partnering with Beit Al Baraka to provide necessities to underprivileged communities. This NGO supports hardworking Lebanese citizens by giving access to food, decent livelihood, medical services and education.

VMLY&R France — Organizing a large in-office collection drive supporting children, domestic abuse victims and LGBTQ+ homeless youth.

VMLY&R Italy — In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the team will spend the day in the WWF park of Vanzago in Milan. Projects include painting a shelter for injured animals, planting 300 new plants and cleaning up dry brush.

VMLY&R Health London  — As a continuation of their longtime support for advanced breast cancer treatment, a team of strategists and creatives are dedicating their day to provide Europa Donna – a European society dedicated to Metastatic Breast Cancer patients - with a “sponsorship kit” which will enable fundraising. They are also working on their new creative and PR strategies to support their Cancer Currency Campaign in October.

VMLY&R Health Madrid and Barcelona — Joining forces to design a special bracelet to raise money for Fundacion PKU. Funds will be used to produce a special biosensor device that will help children suffering from PKU. Teams will also support Solidarity Wardrobe at the headquarters of the Achalay Foundation, helping underprivileged families in the district of San Blas by providing baby and children's clothes donations.

VMLY&R Malaysia — Hosting a charity bazaar, which includes eight pop-up stores designed by our team members. Proceeds will be donated to the charitable organization chosen by the winning pop-up team, in addition to volunteer efforts.

VMLY&R Mexico City — Planting trees and cleaning up the Río de los Remedios forest in Mexico City.

VMLY&R Health Milan — Supporting AINMO, Italian association for the rare autoimmune disease neuromyelitis optica -NMO.  During the day teams will be working on a disease awareness campaign.

VMLY&R Peru — Continuing to support the Hijas de la Misericordia home, a youth support center. Volunteers will spend the day at their recreation center.

VMLY&R Poland — Organizing a challenging charity obstacle course run aimed at fighting cancer. Getting muddy has never had such an important purpose! Additionally, teams will be volunteering at a local animal shelter and children’s organization.

VMLY&R Puerto Rico — Visiting Corazón Azul, a specialized autism school for adults, creating safe spaces for development.

VMLY&R Santiago – Volunteering with Cultiva Corporation on the reforestation of native trees. The team will spend the day planting and installing irrigation systems for native trees in an economically disadvantaged area of the city where there are very few natural spaces.

VMLY&R Singapore — Cleaning the East Coast Park beach.

VMLY&R South Africa (Johannesburg) — Partnering with the Woodrock Animal Rescue, Mayibuye Precinct, Sacred Heart Bakery, Greenworks Environmental initiative, LEVELUP Youth Programme, and the Impilo Soup Kitchen and Shelter.

VMLY&R South Africa (Cape Town) — Supporting the Eros School, assisting in various areas of need at the school and playing with the kids; South African Institute for Entrepreneurship, which focuses on community gardens in school; and The Underdog Project, working with abandoned animals.

VMLY&R Spain — Focusing on a sustainability effort in collaboration with the Libera Projectin Madrid, Barcelona and virtually.

VMLY&R Thailand — Spending time with children facing serious health challenges at the local children's hospital.

VMLY&R Health Tokyo — Spending the day with a Hereditary Angioedema patients association (HAEJ) to help them update their website in celebration of their 10th anniversary next year. HAEJ is a patient group that communicates, collects and researches to help (largely undiagnosed) hereditary angioedema (HAE) patients so they can get accurate diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The updated website aims to provide a space where patients, families and physicians can deepen their understanding of HAE together.

VMLY&R Ukraine – Leading a fundraising initiative supporting the team based in Kyiv.

VMLY&R UK — Employees will have the opportunity to take part in one of five initiatives supporting various local charities and the community:

  • A sponsored walk in memory and support of our lovely colleague Tamara Seabrook, who lost her battle against cancer, raising donations for Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • Feeding the homeless; helping with food bank packing; or helping the community members who walk in with reading, filling in forms, or advising on how to talk on the phone at Brixton Soup Kitchen.
  • Cleaning up our local area on the River Thames.
  • Community gardening with Living Under One Sun.
  • Danceathon with icandance, a charity for disabled children

VMLY&R New Zealand — Partnering with Kaibosh, a Wellington-based food rescue organization, and I AM HOPE, which focuses on men’s mental health. Meanwhile, our Auckland team will be working to raise awareness for men’s mental health by supporting creative initiatives. Additionally, there will be opportunities to participate in park cleanup efforts for those who wish to give back to the local community.

U.S. Community Partnerships

VMLY&R Atlanta — Continuing to support Atlanta's oldest public park, Oakland Cemetery, for a full day of volunteering outdoors to ensure the community has a safe and clean local park.

VMLY&R Austin — Volunteering at Helping Hand Home to support its mission to nourish a society where every child is free from abuse and neglect.

VMLY&R Chicago — Rolling up our sleeves to support 10 community partners focused on preserving green spaces and rivers, combating homelessness and hunger, and providing pro bono consultation services aimed to empower the youth of Chicago. Partners include Adopt a Beach Great Lakes, Austin Town Hall, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cradles for Crayons, Friends of the Chicago River, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Lincoln Park Conservancy, Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, Nourishing Hope and the Friendship Center.

VMLY&R Cincinnati — Supporting three local organizations: Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati (removing invasive species, weeding, and other garden tasks), Cincinnati ToolBank (organizing tools and equipment in the warehouse, staining wood games like Jenga, or building a picnic table), and Cincinnati Meals on Wheels (packing snacks for senior meal kits, as well as preparing meals and repackaging into single-serve containers for seniors).

VMLY&R Cleveland — Beautifying Wallace Lake for Cleveland Metroparks.

VMLY&R Costa Mesa — Volunteering at the local distribution center in Irvine, CA. VMLY&Rers will be assisting in a variety of food processing projects to help provide dignified, equitable and consistent access to nutritious food, creating a foundation for community health.

VMLY&R Dallas — Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children by filling food packs that will benefit communities around the world. The second half of the day, we are working with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to pack breast health kits and HOPE Kits.

VMLY&R Denver — Returning to Growing Gardens for the sixth consecutive year. Growing Gardens is a community garden based in Boulder, Colorado.

VMLY&R Detroit — Supporting the NOAH Project lunch program by making sandwiches for 300 people experiencing homelessness in Detroit. Additionally, the team will volunteer at Osborn High School, Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control, Veterans of America and the Children's Hospital of Michigan.

VMLY&R Kalamazoo — Supporting the Animal Rescue Project, First Day Shoe Fund, Taste of Heaven and beautifying Milham Park.

VMLY&R Kansas City — Proudly serving Children’s Mercy Hospital, Cultivate KC’s community gardens, EarlystART children’s center, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Kansas City, Happy Bottoms diaper bank, Harvesters Community Food Network, Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, the Indigenous Community Center, Kanbe’s Markets, the Kansas City Museum, NourishKC, Pride Haven, Rose Brooks Women’s Shelter, Scraps KC, Thelma’s Kitchen, Union Hill Cemetery, Veterans Community Project and Young Women on the Move.

VMLY&R Memphis — Working with Shelby Farms helping clear trails in the early part of the day and going to the Humane Society shortly after for a full day of giving back.

VMLY&R Miami — Cleaning Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, preparing meals for food-insecure Miami residents in partnership with Community Fridge, creating uplifting cards for kids battling illnesses in partnership with Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and collecting clothing donations for the trans community in partnership with TransSOCIAL.

VMLY&R Minneapolis — Participating in prairie seed collection at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve.

VMLY&R Nashville — Volunteering with Project C.U.R.E. to help deliver medical supplies to developing countries.

VMLY&R New York & New Jersey — Partnering with over a dozen local community partners to give back to the NY and NJ area: Ali Forney Center, Bottom Line, City Meals on Wheels, Covenant House New York, The Hoboken Shelter, Keep Norwalk Beautiful, LES Ecology Center, Little Essentials, NEXT Distro, Our New Way Garden, Razom for Ukraine, Rocking the Boat and the Surfrider Foundation.

VMLY&R Newport Beach — Partnering with the Orange County Coastkeeper to participate in a beach cleanup. Our office is nestled near several beaches, so we are looking forward to making a positive impact on our local environment.

VMLY&R Rogers — Partnering with five community partners for a full day of giving back. Rolling up our sleeves with Apple Seeds, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, NWA Trailblazers, packing care kits at 7hills Homeless Center and making a final stop with Ronald McDonald House Charities to prep meals for families in Arkansas.

VMLY&R San Francisco — Supporting the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, which provides food/groceries to over 50,000 households in the San Francisco Bay Area. The team will package groceries and deliver them to those in need at a pop-up food pantry in the city. We will also support Sutro Stewards, which provides habitat restoration at Mount Sutro, one of the largest open spaces in San Francisco. Activities include removing invasive species and planting.

VMLY&R Seattle — Partnering with five community partners focusing on animal welfare, sustainability, and combating hunger: Lifelong, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, PAWS, DNDA Nature, and the Seattle Humane Society.

VMLY&R Southern California — Supporting Union Rescue Mission by helping sort donations, cleaning the facility, and preparing and serving food to those currently sheltered within the mission.

VMLY&R Washington, D.C. — Volunteering in the food pantry at Bread for the City to support families in low-income communities.

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