Today kicks off Sabre’s annual global volunteer week that we call ‘Give Time Together’ when our staff and our customers around the world go out and help our local communities.  Last year I said this is the best part of my job – volunteering with my colleagues at Sabre. This year I think it’s even better for a variety of reasons, and I won’t bore you with all of them, but I will tell you about a few that make my heart swell with pride in the people at Sabre.

This year we took a different approach to planning volunteer events in North Texas, home of our company’s headquarters and our single largest employee population.  We first canvassed our local charities to learn their needs for volunteers and then we organized our events around those needs. This is our way of putting the community first and making sure the efforts of our volunteers are making a meaningful difference. We invited the charities to our Southlake campus for our first-ever Community Partner Fair in March. Our people had the opportunity to learn more about the mission of these organizations and meet some of the faces behind them before they signed up for events.  Many made real and emotional connections with some new causes.

Another reason I think we’re doing even better this year is thanks in part to one of our young, entrepreneurial leaders in the company who applied the core of what Sabre does as a business – managing big data – with what has become core to our culture – volunteering – to make this year our most successful ever in terms of employee participation. And that has to mean we’re making a greater contribution to our neighborhoods and to the world, right?

John Hanson is a vice president in our Technology organization, and he is leading Give Time Together for us this year, on top of his day job leading a shared systems team. John was inspired to create a dashboard for our leaders – much like the ones Sabre creates for our customers to help their leaders harness their data and easily glean meaning from it so they can make better, more informed and data-driven decisions to better run their businesses.

Sabre leaders can see how well they are doing to motivate and encourage their teams to sign up for volunteer activities in their various locales around the world. Because we have real-time data that tells us where we have people signed up for events and where we don’t – by leader, line of business or geography – we’ve been able to have more informed discussions that have led to record-setting participation by our people this year. It doesn’t hurt that by nature we are a pretty competitive bunch!

We’re building a Habitat for Humanity house in Fort Worth, making desks for children with special needs in Montevideo, fixing a computer lab for visually impaired students in Bangalore, teaching children in Krakow how to be safe on the Internet… and so much more! And I couldn’t be more proud of our teams around the world!