May 22

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So, I’m new at the blogging thing….

And I posted the entire article in the title section the first time I tried this.  So, here’s my second attempt…..

I am still riding the energy from our PULSE Training at GSK House last week with about 50+ other GSK employees who make up the 10th PULSE class. I also got to meet my fellow GSK PULSE Volunteer, as the Food Trust will have two GSK employees this year.  It was a bit like meeting your freshman roommate in college.  I’m very excited and more than a bit humbled to be a part of this impressive group.

Over the next few weeks, PULSE Volunteers will be deployed to over 30 NGOs around the world.  I haven’t even gotten to the Food Trust yet and I’ve already learned so much about global engagement, citizen diplomacy, and the emerging ways of working between private, social, and NGO sectors – and the tremendous impact GSK has made on the global community.

The types of projects PULSE volunteers have taken on are so impressive and we got to hear about a few of them from some recent alumni.  One alum, a practicing nurse, spent her assignment in Rwanda helping identify ways to reduce infant mortality rates.  Sue put the issue into perspective when she realized that she had seen more babies die in her first three months than she had seen her entire nursing career.  The neonatal curriculum she helped develop and implement is helping to save babies and their mothers all across Rwanda.     We also had the opportunity to meet with several of GSK’s partner NGOs to hear directly from them about transformative impact PULSE has had on their organization.  For example, Save the Children highlighted the work of one PULSE volunteer who implemented a new HR system that enabled staff to spend less time on administration and more time on value added services.

Some of you have asked for some more details about my assignment.  Specifically, my assignment is to help identify ways for the Food Trust’s GET HYPE Philly! partnership (http://thefoodtrust.org/what-we-do/schools/hype) to be less dependent on grants by researching and implementing best practices for non-profits to generate earned income.  Ideas proposed by the partner organizations for generating income include the sale of healthy products developed by youth, fees for project-related technical assistance, and other income-generating activities. My job is to figure out how viable these and other options are and I get started on June 4th.   Stay tuned for more updates!