Meet Rita Henderson: Connecting Thousands of Employees to Serve Their Communities
One of the Faces of Nestlé driving a positive impact on individuals & families, communities, and our planet
Rita Henderson is a Community Affairs Manager for Nestlé USA.
I tell everyone that I’ve had the greatest job and career at Nestlé USA. I’ve been here for 25 years, and I’ve had the pleasure of managing Community Affairs for the last 17 years. That includes managing our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America, our corporate giving campaign, and the Nestlé Adopt-a-School program.
25 years ago, we found we needed a focus and strategy for giving back to our communities. That is when we started our Adopt-a-School program, which helps with everything from a special fitness program at a school for young adults with Down syndrome to building school vegetable gardens. We even continue to keep in touch with some of the kids today.
A big highlight of my career was the 150 for 150 volunteer event in 2016 (that’s me and my team the day before, above). The event had 6,000+ Nestlé volunteers working with 100+ community nonprofits to clean local parks and rivers, lead special fitness events for Boys & Girls Clubs, cook meals for families at domestic violence shelters, play games with teens who have severe physical disabilities, and so much more. To come together with Nestlé employees all over the country for one collective day of volunteering was so amazing. I think bringing everyone together for the first time was just a starting point — we’re going to continue to find even bigger and better ways to come together and support our communities.
One of my favorite parts of my role is leading teams of Nestlé employees out into the community to help those who need it the most. Every time I attend an employee volunteer event, I am reminded of what a great company we are and how much we can make a difference. It’s so valuable to give employees time off during the work day to go help in schools, educating young people on eating healthy and being active, like supporting Boys & Girls Club programs. We’re still youth-focused today and we hope this next generation grows up happy, healthy, well-nourished and physically fit.
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