In Our Community

A high school student walks the red carpet in her prom dress for Discovery Employees. Employees volunteering on the river

Giving Back at the Local Level

Throughout the world, Discovery and its employees undertake a wide range of initiatives focused on making a positive impact in the local communities where we live and work. Both on an individual level and collectively through employee resource groups, such as the Asian Cultural Alliance, Women's Leadership Network, Discovery Veterans Group, and priDe, a group for LGBT staff and allies, Discovery employees volunteer in schools, provide assistance to in-need individuals, promote HIV/AIDS and environmental awareness, and support local community organizations and causes.

Some examples of the ways in which Discovery employees make an impact in their local communities include:

  • Local backpack and schools supply drives around the world
  • First-time filmmaker initiatives in Vietnam
  • Adopt-a-unit and homeless vets initiatives for service men and women in the U.S.
  • Job fairs for local college and university students
  • Prom dress collections for women in New Orleans
  • Projects to bring power to communities in Africa
  • Holiday adopt-a-family and warm coat initiatives
  • Elementary school reading programs
  • Food delivery programs
  • Disaster relief fundraising
  • Meeting spaces for local community groups
  • Earth Day and Earth Month projects
  • Clothing drives
  • Cell phone collections

Discovery Gets Packing

In 2008, Discovery Communications started Discovery Gets Packing: It's What's Inside That Counts, a company-wide effort led by Human Resources. Discovery Gets Packing supplies elementary and primary school students in London, Miami, New York and Silver Spring with Hub-branded backpacks filled with many of the supplies they need to begin the new school year. In London, the backpacks are made from recycled network billboard advertisements that were redesigned, cut and sewn into unique backpacks.

Discovery generously covers the cost for the backpacks while employees around the world graciously make donations in increments of $10 or more to cover the cost of the supply kits. All of the backpack supplies are purchased from Rite Quality Office Supplies, Discovery's long-time business partner and choice vendor for office supplies in Maryland and Virginia. Delivery services for the schools in Maryland are provided by Moving Masters, another long-term partner to Discovery.

When the backpacks are delivered to students late in August and early in September, the Discovery Gets Packing initiative will have provided backpacks to over 10,000 students in five years.

Discovery Impact: Creating Change

Discovery Impact: Creating Change is Discovery Communications' pro-bono creative initiative, utilizing the power of our employee workforce to fulfill design, marketing and communications work on behalf of local nonprofit organizations.

During this 12-hour marathon, Discovery employees fulfill work that includes but is not limited to: social media training, event conception, promotional materials, websites, pamphlets, logos, PSAs, press kits and mission statements.

Creating Change took place last year in the Silver Spring office on November 7, 2013. This event featured more than 100 Discovery employees donating over 3,000 hours of work to fulfill creative requests from 17 selected organizations. Additionally, representatives from 38 nonprofits participated in the Creating Change Conference, a companion event to the marathon, featuring one-on-one sessions with Discovery executives and seminars. The application for the 2014 Creating Change Marathon will be available late summer of 2014. Please email: Impact@discovery.com for questions.

Discover Your Impact Day

Discover Your Impact Day is Discovery's global day of employee volunteerism taking place each year in June. Started in 2010 to celebrate Discovery's 25th Anniversary, Impact Day brings the Discovery family into their local communities to give back to organizations that support land, water, and people, and underscores our commitment to the people and places of the world that inspire our on-air stories.

Discover Your Impact Day 2014 took place on June 20 and featured:

  • 4,000 employees from 50 offices and in 35 countries.
  • Volunteers worked on over 200 different projects.
  • Site visits from some of DCI's on-air talent, including Buddy Valastro from TLC's CAKE BOSS and Billy Kidd from Discovery's BREAKING MAGIC.
  • Staff who could not leave the office participated in a variety of on-site projects, including making lunches for Shepherd's Table, a homeless shelter, and making cards for children at a local hospital.

Discovery Impact: Rebuilding Alabama

In 2011, More than 125 Discovery Communications' employees and on-air talent from across the U.S., including Reed Timmer and Tim Samaras of Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting on TLC, and Dave Salmoni of Animal Planet, traveled tornado-ravaged communities in Alabama from September 22-24, 2011 to work with Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity on major home rebuilds and rehabilitations for affected residents of the Pleasant Grove, Jasper and Center Point suburbs of Birmingham. To view photos from our trip click here.

Discovery Impact: Rebuilding Atlantic City

In May of 2013, more than 125 Discovery Communications' employees and on-air talent, including Buddy Valastro of TLC's CAKE BOSS and Animal Planet's Dave Salmoni, traveled to a suburb of Atlantic City, New Jersey to rebuild homes devastated by Superstorm Sandy. By partnering with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, employees and on-air talent were able to rebuild and rehabilitate 10 homes for families displaced by the storm's flooding. To view the photos from our trip, click here to visit our Facebook page album.

Say Yes to the Prom

Say Yes to the Prom is a Discovery Communications corporate staple event that is held annually at Global Headquarters and is hosted by LifeWorks & Inclusion and TLC. The annual initiative kicks off after the New Year with a national prom dress donation drive for high school girls. It ends with a red carpet event in partnership with local high schools identifying and celebrating girls in need to help build courage, confidence and improve self-image among the girls.

Selected from area high schools, local girls are invited for a day of shopping and head-to-toe pampering to get them ready for a prom night they will never forget. Each girl is paired with a Discovery employee who serves as a prom consultant, personal shopper and style assistant throughout the day. The girls are pampered with head-to-toe makeovers and their choice of the most stylish prom looks and accessories. The 2014 event concluded with a red carpet reveal hosted by Monte Durham of TLC's SAY YES TO THE DRESS: ATLANTA. Remaining dresses and accessories are made available for other select area high school girls on a separate shopping day hosted at Discovery. Dresses not selected are donated to DonateMyDress.org, a national campaign designed to encourage the donation of special event dresses and accessories for girls in need.