Advancing Life & Work

Working for HPE and working for the community go hand-in-hand



One of the things I like about working for HPE Financial Services is that I’m surrounded by civic-minded people like me. Several years ago, I noticed an opportunity to organize some community work that not only could benefit people in need, but also provide fellow employees in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey office a convenient way to contribute to a worthy cause while building comradery.

Awash in red, orange and pink

I began by organizing office blood drives and have held three per year for about the last seven years. At first it was a bit of a challenge – having the bloodmobile in our office parking lot didn’t attract as many donors and holding the drive inside the building required some coordination with the company that owns our building. There were some logistical challenges but I eventually got them resolved. After a few successful blood drives, the next time I e-mailed our landlord to ask permission to hold another drive they offered to promote it with other companies in the building. Now our blood drives extend beyond HPE to include our fellow building tenants.

Then I broadened my reach to include an annual Dress for MS day. MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a cause near to my heart because my husband has battled it his entire adult life. Though he now needs a mobility device to get around, the truth is, he’s unstoppable and my true inspiration.

During the Dress for MS day, employees dress down, wear the color orange and provide a donation to the National MS Society. I set up a table in the lobby to collect donations and provide information about the cause. A lot of colleagues have jumped on board to help out here by sharing time at the table and even baking orange-themed cupcakes and cookies.

Annual Dress for MSAnnual Dress for MS

More recently I began doing the same thing for Breast Cancer Awareness in October, where employees wear pink and give donations to the Susan B. Komen Foundation.

We raise about $500 at each tabling event. But another nice outcome is that I meet new people each time I do it – people whose faces I’ve seen but may never have interacted with otherwise.

Interweaving skill sets

Being able to bring my personal passion for community service to the office enriches my work life and the skills I’ve learned at work contribute to my personal life.

 Every year, I lead a Walk MS team called the Mitzvah Squad (“Mitzvah” is Hebrew for good deed). I use skills learned at work to organize our participation, like keeping a spreadsheet of past donors, team members, t-shirt sizes and outreach (often co-workers join my team and I’m excited to report the Mitzvah Squad was again a top fundraising friends and family team in NJ this year!). Similarly, I’ve created a process document for every event I organize to make it easy to replicate year after year. This is a lesson I learned early in my career – every project needs a recipe or you might forget an ingredient.

Walk MS Team (Mitzvah Squad) led by HPE employee, Laura CohenWalk MS Team (Mitzvah Squad) led by HPE employee, Laura Cohen

Coworkers often comment that participating in these onsite events is motivating, and that keeps me motivated to continue to bring them. I’m thankful to work with people who share my passion for community service and work for a company that rewards it.

HPE Gives Program

Giving has long been a key component of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise company culture, tracing back to the values of Bill and Dave.  HPE employees care deeply about giving back.  Through HPE Gives, which is generously funded by the HPE Foundation, HPE employees can amplify the impact they're making in their local communities.  To further encourage employee involvement in the communities where they live and work, the HPE Foundation has increased the annual HPE Gives matching to $5000 for each employee (effective 8/1/2018), which may be allocated to match monetary donations or donations of volunteer time.  In addition, the company offers 60 hours of volunteer time off (VTO) and employees can nominate organizations to receive a Community Impact Grant from the HPE Foundation.

About the writer:

Laura Cohen, Senior Credit Analyst at HPE Financial Services.Laura Cohen, Senior Credit Analyst at HPE Financial Services.

Laura Cohen is a Senior Credit Analyst at HPE Financial Services. A skilled underwriter and analyst, Laura will be celebrating 20 years with the company this January. Outside of work, Laura leads the Mitzvah Squad and serves as the president of her local YM-YWHA, which provides daycare and elder care for an underprivileged community in northern NJ. 

Stay connected to Laura via LinkedIn and for more information about careers at HPE visit








Susan Graye
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