ZSers are always looking for ways to apply their knowledge and skills to make a difference in their communities. ZS Cares is our way to give back. As a cornerstone of our approach to corporate social responsibility, ZS Cares organizes volunteer events and pro bono projects for ZSers around the world.
In 2019, ZS chose to amplify our community volunteering efforts by organizing an annual global day of giving—ZS Cares Day. Since the start of ZS Cares Day, Megan Shattuck, a senior project assistant in the Evanston office, has been inspired to use her leadership and organizational skills to better the Chicagoland area.
“I got involved in ZS Cares the moment I joined ZS because I was thrilled by the idea that I could do some good,” says Shattuck. “When ZS Cares Day 2019 came, I jumped into a leadership role because I had the skills and passion to plan the events needed for over 200 Evanston ZSers. This day in 2019 propelled me into a more involved role in ZS Cares—expanding our reach with more events, more partnerships and more impact.”
In 2020, ZSers found creative ways to help those in need while also staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I had no idea how to pull off a successful ZS Cares Day in a virtual setting,” says Shattuck. “The London office had a great idea that we ended up using. Our team led an auction that raised almost $10,000 for five different organizations: Books & Breakfast, Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, With Our Hearts Foundation, Chicago Food Policy Action Council and Brave Space Alliance. Again, just like in 2019, I saw hundreds of ZSers come together on a single day and create tangible impact for their community. We helped feed children across Chicago and Evanston, funded a rape crisis center and supported LGBTQ+ individuals on the South and West Side of Chicago.” By the end of ZS Cares Day 2020, over 1,000 ZSers dedicated over 14,000 hours to people in our communities.
This year we celebrated our third global ZS Cares Day! ZSers around the world spent the day conducting hackathons, working on pro bono projects for nonprofit organizations, participating in neighborhood cleanups and much more. From improving the safety of children’s playgrounds in Chicago to planting trees in Pune, more than 1,000 ZSers partnered with over 50 organizations to change more than 10,000 lives across the globe.
With more than 30 million stray dogs in India and over 20,000 people dying of rabies every year, there’s an overwhelming need to feed and inoculate the growing population of wild dogs. ZSers in India helped by feeding over 1,200 animals on ZS Cares Day 2021.
With over 14,000 diverse types of plants and animals, there’s a lot of wildlife in London to protect. ZSers showed off their green thumbs by volunteering at the Stave Hill Ecological Park.
Last year, Lakeview Pantry helped nearly 200,000 people throughout Chicago survive food insecurity. Evanston ZSers were proud to help feed their neighbors.
ZS Cares Day inspires and empowers ZSers to have a positive impact on their communities. Shattuck says, “ZS Cares Day reminds me why I do this work and why I choose to work at ZS—because the people here really care. It’s more than just ‘doing the right thing’ for them—it’s doing the best thing.”