The Exact Sciences sales team spends most of its time working across the U.S. and around the globe to bring our tests and services to patients and those who provide their health care.

Once a year, though, the team gathers for its global sales meeting. They use the time to connect in person, align on goals, and plan for how to show up even better for those we serve. The team’s 2024 event, held in Orlando, Florida, featured a new element: a chance to volunteer together.

Exact Sciences employees can take advantage of the company’s volunteer time off benefit, which provides 16 hours of paid time for employees to use on activities that benefit their communities. Many work teams choose to volunteer as a group, which builds camaraderie and connection that pay off when they’re back in the office. Learn more about Exact Sciences' volunteer time off program.

Because the sales team interacts in person so rarely, they don’t have a chance to give back together. So Exact Sciences created the opportunity for them.

“Our sales team members are passionate about the communities that they impact every day,” says Stefanie Berg, who oversees employee volunteering programs at Exact Sciences. “We wanted to bring them an activity that would continue that impact in a new way.”

When the sales team was gathered in Orlando, Exact Sciences arranged an on-site volunteering event, supported by Heart of Florida United Way. Sales team members had the chance to use part of their lunch break to pack kits of food and other supplies to benefit residents.

“In less than an hour and a half, we showed the Orlando community the power of our give-back culture and the passion of our team,” Berg says.

The give-back impact

More than 360 people from Exact Sciences joined the effort and pitched in at three stations that were set up to address different community needs:

Project: 3,000 kid packs
Contents: Teams assembled easy-to-open meal kits that included cereal, shelf-stable milk and juice, fruit cups, granola bars, and other nutritious, child-friendly food.
Partner: Second Harvest of Central Florida, which reports that 1 in 5 school-age kids faces hunger every day in the area. For some, the only meals they get are at school. The packs will support children on weekends, when they don’t have access to school cafeterias.

Project: 500 dignity kits
Contents: Volunteers packed each canvas toiletry bag with socks, hygiene items, snacks, and a handwritten message of encouragement to be distributed to people experiencing homelessness.
Partner: The Sharing Center, which addresses the immediate needs of those experiencing poverty. Its respite center for people who are unhoused, called The Oasis, has provided more than 8,000 instances of service, including showers, laundry, haircuts, and other support.

Project: 500 college-preparation kits
Contents: Each kit featured a canvas pencil bag, an encouraging note, a fidget spinner, a notebook, pens, a highlighter, and a college prep workbook. 
Partner: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, which serves more than 12,000 kids ages 6 to 18 in the region’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. The organization reports that 100% of its high school seniors graduate with plans for their future.

Dani Littell, a senior screening solutions specialist working in Exact Sciences’ west region, says it’s critical for employees to have experiences like the one in Orlando.

“When I learned about Exact’s volunteer time off program, that actually was super impactful for me accepting the job,” she says. “Any company can say it’s important that employees volunteer and give back. Taking the next step to provide that opportunity and that ability to give back — that really spoke volumes to me.”

At home, Littell and her husband pack dignity kits like the ones assembled at the event, which they keep in their car to hand out to people in need who ask for help. Based on her experience at the Orlando event, she plans to use the idea of including personal notes in her kits going forward in hopes that recipients feel seen and valued.

And she’s looking forward to more team give-back activities in the future: “I think it's important for us as employees to have these opportunities to keep us in touch, keep us grounded, make us aware of the world, and remind us of our humanity.”

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