Have a few hours to volunteer? Work for a company that encourages giving back to your community? That was the case for Edmonds resident George Bennett, who is employed by Microsoft. Thanks to Microsoft’s GIVE program, Bennett is able to turn his volunteer hours for good causes in Edmonds into corporate donations to non-profits of his choice.
One example of this is his regular work picking up trash and pulling weeds at the new Edmonds Veterans Plaza, located outside the city’s Public Safety Complex.
“I go down when I get the chance – sometimes in the mornings, sometimes in the afternoon,” Bennett said. “Sometimes four times a week, sometimes two. It all depends on what is going on at work.”
Microsoft pays a grant of $25 for every hour that Bennett volunteers. In turn, that money is donated to the non-profit of his choice — in this case, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8870, which runs the Veterans Plaza.
“It’s a win-win,” said Post 8870 member Mike Traner. “We have a clean plaza and money to do additional plantings, etc.”
Bennett said doing volunteer work at the Veterans Plaza not only allows him to give back, but he also appreciates being there to remember both of his grandfathers, plus his dad and stepdad — all of whom are honored in the plaza with memorial benches or paving stones.
“It’s a nice place to reflect,” he said.
Bennett, who also serves on the city’s Economic Development Commission, earns Microsoft grant dollars for hours spent doing commission work. That money is donated to the Edmonds Center for the Arts, he said.