The good we can do in communities expands exponentially when we complement our grants with the time and talents of Avery Dennison employees. Over the last two years, our Foundation worked to increase the level of employee volunteerism associated with our global grants. Company-wide, our employees have embraced this opportunity with enthusiasm, and volunteering is rapidly becoming a fundamental part of the Avery Dennison culture. Currently, about 48 percent of our programs include an opportunity for employees to volunteer or otherwise engage. Our 2020 Vision calls for us to raise that to 50 percent by the end of the decade.
Because Avery Dennison employees often have the best understanding of their communities’ needs, more than 110 Community Investment Teams coordinate volunteerism at the local level. The teams have also informed our decisions to give to a broad range of community-based organizations.
We also engage employees at the local level through the Granting Wishes program, which enables employees in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. to recommend smaller, one-time grants to local nonprofit organizations. Employees also collaborate with the organization on a hands-on, employee-led volunteer project. Often, employees will already have a connection to the organizations they nominate through prior volunteerism or service on the organization’s board. In the six years since we launched Granting Wishes, more than 600 of our employees have taken part, and we’ve granted $885,000 to 160 organizations.
To further encourage service among our employees—and to honor the example set by our late Chairman, President and CEO, H. Russell Smith—we created the Model Integrity and Social Responsibility Leadership Excellence Award in 2010. We award it annually to employees who demonstrate an exemplary and sustained personal commitment to voluntary community service. Recent recipients of the award have helped connect women with scholarships, provide food for the hungry, raise the spirits of children with serious illness and more.
For nearly a decade, our InvEnt Scholarships have supported the next generation of innovators. We started the program in China in 2008 and expanded it to India in 2012. By providing students with tuition assistance, an invention competition and professional development opportunities, we seek to inspire the spirit of innovation in tomorrow’s engineers and tech workers.
Second- and third-year students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines at universities can apply for InvEnt Scholarships. As part of their application, students submit ideas for an invention they then design during their scholarship year. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding innovative spirit and excellent practical competence. Each year, InvEnt Scholars are honored at an award ceremony where they exhibit their inventions for their professors and executives from Avery Dennison. Scholars also attend a special one-and-a-half-day workshop on invention and tour an Avery Dennison factory. In 2015 and 2016, we awarded 40 InvEnt Scholarships totaling $52,000.
We also support college students in the U.S. In partnership with Scholarship America, we provide scholarships to the children of Avery Dennison employees. Since 1977, we have provided more than 600 scholarships totaling more than $2.2 million to support students entering their first year of college.
When Tropical Storm Roanu lashed western Sri Lanka in May 2016, 28 Avery Dennison employees were among the victims of the resulting floods and landslides. In response, their fellow Avery Dennison employees quickly rallied to provide them with essentials in the short term; several employees welcomed displaced co-workers and their families into their own homes. Our Sri Lankan employees also worked with the Avery Dennison Foundation to create mechanisms to solicit and match funds from Retail Branding and Information Solutions employees around the world. Their efforts garnered nearly $74,000 for the affected families that was used, among other things, to purchase brand-new houses for two families that lost their homes.