Foundation VMware Life

We Are Citizen Philanthropists – Learning Through Service

Every waterfall begins with a single drop of water. That’s the idea behind VMware’s Citizen Philanthropy approach to giving—VMware’s waterfall of impact is the result of the collective actions of VMware people. Core to our ethos is the belief that we can all learn and grow through service. After contributing 40 hours of Service Learning in a calendar year, VMware employees are eligible to recommend a VMware Foundation grant to their nonprofit of choice. As part of that grant recommendation, they are asked to reflect on the following quote in the context of their service, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi


Here’s what Global Sales Operations Strategy Lead, Lorelei Voorsanger had to say…

Lorelei: Rumi’s quote, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” resonates with me, although I don’t know that I was ever clever or egotistical enough to think that I could change the world – or even that the world needed changing. I did a fair amount of traveling to different countries and saw the way that other cultures lived. Although their customs and standards of living are different from ours, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong or need to be changed. They have attributes that give them a quality of life that is in so many ways, richer than we have. So they don’t need to be American-ized. Instead, I can change myself. Change to be more accepting, more tolerant, more appreciative, more grateful, more open-minded. I can change to expand my definition of what it is to live a good life. I can recognize ways to incorporate other points of view into my world view. Pivoting to think about what has been traditionally framed as volunteering as “Service Learning” shifts the focus. With volunteering, it implies that you are a higher social or economic status and are more privileged, stooping down to help those who are less-than. But if you are doing Service Learning, it means you are working in service of others, to assist them in ways that are welcome, and learning about others from a humble place. I seek to perform acts of Service Learning so that I can grow wiser, not to change others or the world, but to change myself.”



You can learn more about VMware’s Foundation program here & here.


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