Twenty years ago, Timberland created our Path of Service™ program—a monumental moment that marked the beginning of a rich tradition of service. When the Path of Service™ program debuted on September 18, 1992, it offered employees up to 16 hours of paid time each year to engage in community service—an unconventional idea at the time. In 1995, the number of paid hours available to employees was raised to 40 hours a year, and by the late 1990s, the company formalized two annual service events designed to make it easy for employees to serve.
In 1997, the company began organizing an annual day of service around Earth Day, in recognition of Timberland as an outdoor brand. The following year, we started a tradition called Serv-a-palooza, Timberland’s own annual celebration of community service.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary, we put our values into action at events around the world, thanks to our team of Global Stewards—passionate employees who volunteer above and beyond their regular job responsibilities to serve as ambassadors of corporate social responsibility. Here are some of the highlights that span the globe:
• China: Global Steward Vincent He organized a team that painted a wall in a primary school classroom, while another team treated 60 kindergarteners to an outing in a local park. Many of the children had never been to a park before.
• Italy: Global Steward Francesca Vitale organized a two-day service trip for three teams of employees to Cinque Terre on Palmaria Island. Each team worked on different projects, including cleaning beaches, renovating benches along the paths, and repainting an old military fortress.
• Japan: Global Steward Shiho Hirasawa’s team spread its celebration across the year, arranging monthly service events from May through November.
• Spain: Global Steward Lorena Ibáñez and her teams provided gardening services at a retirement home and prepared a special lunch for students at a sailing school for the disabled.
• Taiwan: With the support of Global Steward Marty Shen, Taiwan launched a program that rewards consumers for engaging with Timberland in service—a concept that’s spread to other Timberland locations around the world.
• USA: Near our Stratham, New Hampshire global headquarters, community engagement manager Brianne Wood coordinated more than 350 volunteers in this year’s Serv-a-Palooza in three locations. The team helped 25 non-profit organizations by constructing outdoor furniture, creating and restoring over three miles of trails, and knitting winter hats and mittens.
But it doesn’t end with our employees. Our service events have now grown to include Timberland vendors, distributors, supplier factories, consumers, community members, and friends and family. Organizations as diverse as the Hong Chi School in Hong Kong, which serves those with intellectual disabilities; Legambiente, an Italian environmental organization; and the Seacoast Science Center of Rye, New Hampshire, an educational facility near Timberland’s headquarters, all join us in the effort to make a difference in the world.
We are also fortunate that our new parent company, VF Corporation, supports Timberland’s values-driven brand and mission to equip people to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. We look forward to partnering with VF’s Outdoor & Action Sports Coalition to grow our commitment to service beyond our own corporate walls.
As Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager of community engagement for Timberland, puts it, “What’s so powerful about our service program is the many ripples it creates. As we send people to service sites, their direct impact ripples out to other organizations and the people they serve. Our belief is that when each employee has a service experience, it helps them become more engaged in their own community and on their own time. We hope this year’s 20th anniversary has re-energized our army of service warriors to continue to grow Timberland’s level of service.”