The Season To Give

Published December 18, 2012
Last modified December 18, 2012

Our Zendesk team with Nilani, a full-time hospital employee who provides special comfort and support to patients and families

We celebrated this meaningful time of year by giving gifts to the children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. This special day also marked the fulfillment of a $1 million dollar pledge we made to the hospital last year. We accomplished this through a number of fundraising initiatives, including our “better than free” program in which companies could purchase the Zendesk Starter plan for just $20 per year. We donated that money straight to the hospital. These funds will go towards the creation of an amazing new facility, as well as to help support a number of programs that aren’t covered by insurance.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been an inspiration with the Salesforce Foundation, demonstrating how to integrate philanthropy into a company’s culture. We’re so proud of how our employees embraced this cause to support UCSF and the amazing work it does on behalf of children all over the world.

And stay tuned for an announcement of our new charitable initiative!

More About the UCSF Project

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will provide patient-centered care, supporting the translation of medical research into clinical practice, developing the next generation of medical technology, and training caregivers of the future to advance health care worldwide. The money raised supports a number of programs that aren’t covered by insurance, such as rooms that can accommodate parents for overnight stays, an absolutely amazing media wall that provides a whole new level of interaction to the outside world (even the ability for students to connect to their classrooms via webcam), and other ways to help a hospital stay be as comfortable as possible.

More specifically, the money Zendesk raised is funding an advanced teen lounge and learning center at the new Mission Bay facility (under construction). It will provide services to patients as well as their siblings, and even to parents who might need additional educational opportunities and support. Children receiving care often come from faraway places and get pulled, along with their families, out of their usual lives for months at a time. The new facilities will help kids (patients and siblings) stay current with their schooling so they don’t fall behind, and allow patients to get a break from the hospital room and socialize.

Also, the gifts collected and donated will ensure every child who celebrates the holidays will wake up to gifts in their rooms. Plus, every child who celebrates a birthday while in the hospital will receive a gift from these donations. The hospital also hosts a very popular Bingo event every year, and every patient is a winner—and the winners will get toys!

How to Stay Involved?

Here are some ideas to continue working with UCSF:

  1. Donate gifts in the summer months (they run low this time of year)
  2. Visit their Mission Bay construction site, or the current hospital at Parnassus.
  3. Sign up to be a volunteer. It requires a 3hr/week, 6-month commitment. They're particularly short on "Snugglers": people who snuggle with infants and provide the extra human contact they need to recover more quickly.
  4. Participate in a one-time event, such as a group of employees helping with Bingo, or end of the year graduation ceremonies.