Hasbro Inc. recently helped spread joy to thousands of underserved children nationwide and in 35 countries through its first-ever Global Day of Joy, and a Cranston resident played a major role in making it happen.
“I’m passionate about community service,” said 24-year-old Kevin Colman, Hasbro’s community relations associate manager, who served as “Head Elf” during the event. “It was a wonderful event … It was a wonderful experience.”
Colman’s position involves building connections between workers and nonprofit organizations through Team Hasbro, the company’s employee volunteer program. The initiative gives employees the opportunity to use four hours of paid time each month for volunteering.
For the Global Day of Joy, which the company said “empowered Hasbro’s 5,000 employees worldwide to become holiday ‘elves’ and to immerse themselves in community service projects designed to bring joy over the holidays to children in need,” Colman helped oversee efforts in the Ocean State while coordinating with and advising “Global Day of Joy ambassadors” in places such as Russia, Colombia, Austria and Peru via conference calls.
“We really just supported them in their efforts,” he said. “They were the hands on the ground.”
Colman said the images from the Day of Joy were “incredible,” with volunteers wearing Team Hasbro shirts that had been translated into 17 different languages.
“I was just so proud,” he said, noting that Hasbro employees last year volunteered a combined 20,000 hours. “It was truly a collective effort.”
In Rhode Island, Colman said the Global Day of Caring had volunteers package more than 136,000 meals for food banks and schools at two sites in Pawtucket – “a pretty big feat” – and also utilized the creative skills of Hasbro’s employees to create murals and complete other projects across the state.
At the company’s headquarters, the model shop created Santa’s sleigh, which was set to play a significant role in the annual holiday party for Adoption RI on Dec. 12.
“It’s kind of a fun environment,” he said of the party, which invites children and families to interact and has at times led to adoption matches. “It’s always such a great party.”
Colman said Hasbro’s charitable and volunteer efforts run throughout the year, but the holidays are always an important time of focus, given the special nature of the season for children. During the 2013 holiday season alone, the company expects to donate more than $3 million worth of toys and games to children and approximately $15 million in total philanthropic support worldwide.
As a Cranston native and Cranston High School West graduate, Colman, who has been with Hasbro for a year and a half, said he is proud to work for a “great Rhode Island company” and to have a platform through which to assist with its “incredible” outreach efforts.