December 4, 2020

Book Donations and Storytelling Provided by Shizuoka Business Center Win Toshiba Group Social Contribution Award

In December 2018, Toshiba Tec Shizuoka Business Center received the 14th Toshiba Group Social Contribution Award, the Toshiba “ASHITA” Award, for their book donation and storytelling activities for kindergartens and nursery schools, which they have been engaged in since FY2010.
The Toshiba “ASHITA” Award is judged based on nine criteria such as aim, employee participation, uniqueness, continuity, effect on society, and collaboration with organizations outside the company, and is awarded every year in December to activities that excel in these areas during the President’s Awards ceremony at Toshiba Corporation’s headquarters.
In this article, we will introduce why the Shizuoka Business Center started its volunteer activities, and the thoughts of the employees involved.

The Toshiba Tec CSR Fund and Shizuoka Business Center’s Book Donations and Volunteer Storytelling

In 1992, Toshiba Tec established the Toshiba Tec CSR Fund by setting aside a small portion of employees’ salaries and bonuses, with the aim of contributing to society as corporate citizens.
The fund collects monthly contributions from the salaries and bonuses of executives and employees in line with their applications, and around February 21, our company’s anniversary, we provided grants to community welfare systems, support to the children who will support the next generation, donations to environmental conservation grants, and recovery for large disasters.
As part of its efforts, Shizuoka Business Center has been donating books to elementary schools, kindergartens, and nursery schools in Mishima City and Izunokuni City since 2010, and started volunteer storytelling activities in 2011.

How the volunteer storytelling activities began

General Affairs
Shizuoka Business Center

Mr. K.T

I wonder if there’s something that we can really put our all into…

The book donation activities started in 2010. Until that point, Shizuoka Business Center had been donating funds to the Council of Social Welfare for the purchase and installation of equipment at facilities for the elderly and handicapped. However, there came a point where employees started feeling that they didn’t know what their contributions were being used for, and whether or not they were truly appreciated. In light of this, we discussed at the office whether there were activities that could help raise the children of the next generation who will support the future of Japan, that would be easily graspable by those within and outside the company, and that would cultivate children’s sense of aesthetics. We eventually came up with the idea of donating books to elementary schools, kindergartens, and nursery schools in the local area.
However, some employees wanted to see the children’s happy faces, to do more than just donating things, and started considering what further activities they could get involved with. These discussions are where the idea of doing volunteer storytelling first surfaced.

We also gain a lot

Activities kicked off just a year later in 2011. We submit proposals to the city office which are then accepted by elementary schools, kindergartens, and nursery schools. When we read to the children for the first time, it seems like it is a totally fresh experience for them. They often come up to us to thank us when we finish the storytelling session. This is also a wonderfully happy moment for us. While we are volunteering, we also gain a lot and are able to grow.
Winning the Toshiba “ASHITA” Award this time allowed us to introduce our activities to the whole of Toshiba Group. We hope that we can keep our dream of supporting children’s futures alive, maintaining the kindness and passion behind our activities, and spreading them even further.

Comments from the storytelling volunteers!

General Affairs
Shizuoka Business
Center (Ohito)

Ms. A.M

I will continue to put my all into contributing to the healthy development of children in the area!

General Affairs
Shizuoka Business
Center (Mishima)

Ms. A.O

I would like to come up with ways to make these activities accessible to a wider range of people!

Engineering &
Design Division
Printing Solutions Business Group

Mr. Y.K

I would like to continue these activities as long as I am able. I hope we can also increase the number of kindergartens and nurseries where we engage in storytelling.

Engineering &
Design Division
Printing Solutions Business Group

Ms. M.S

I think the most wonderful thing about our storytelling volunteering is that it developed out of our book donation activities.

Engineering &
Design Division
Retail Solutions
Business Group

Mr. J.O

I’d really like to keep doing it. I’d love to do some storytelling at the nursery my own child attends if I can!

Manufacturing Management Division
and SCM Center

Ms. H.I

One of the huge benefits of these storytelling volunteer activities is being able to do them during work hours. I’d love to take part again.

General Affairs
Tec Information
Systems Corporation

Ms. N.H

I’d like to participate again if I have the opportunity. If possible, I’d want to read one of my own recommendations next time!

Engineering &
Design Division
TER Corporation

Ms. A.Y

I want to link my volunteer work to my everyday life!