Employee Engagement Programs




Soaringwords has best-in-class employee engagement programs that are consistently rated “the most satisfying employee-sponsored volunteer activity ever.” Soaringwords is considered a best-practice partner by Diversity and Inclusion, Work/Life, and Community Relations Managers. Its programs have been benchmarked by many Fortune 500 companies including Accenture, American Express, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Eli Lilly and Company, Facebook, Google, JetBlue, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, New York Life, Verizon, and Viacom. Here is a Soaringwords Employee Engagement 1-page summary and a detailed letter to share with colleagues.

Soaringwords Corporate Programs:

  • Company-Wide Service Days
  • Diversity Initiatives
  • Dept.-wide Team-Building Initiatives (on and off site)
  • Workshops for employees and families
  • Conference keynote and team-building activity
  • Take Your Child to Work Day – April 26, 2018 
  • Summer Associate/ New Hire Programs
  • Holiday Celebrations

 Benefits of Soaringwords Programs:

  • Tangible opportunities for volunteer participants to make a difference in the local community.
  • Turn-key, with little preparation time required of your staff. Train the trainer modules for team leads.
  • High visibility: can generate press coverage and goodwill for your company and community partners.
  • Proven educational modules:  lesson plans, hand-out materials, and educational videos.
  • Soaringwords content was developed in collaboration with top educators at Bank Street College of Education and Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
  • 52 comprehensive activities e.g. SoaringHaikus®, SoaringSuperheroes®, SoaringNutrition®.
  • Flexible modules from 30-90 minutes, 1-6 hours, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually.
  • Professional project management.

Soaringwords Mission is to inspire ill children and their families to take active roles in self-healing. Soaringwords is unique as it is the only organization that motivates ill children and their families to “pay it forward” because when an ill child does something kind for another child it accelerates radical healing

Soaringwords Workshops-Webinars give employees valuable information, tips and insights to learn how to navigate when they, their families, or their co-workers face the challenges of illness. Soaringwords workshops include companion workbooks with immersive learning and hands-on exercises. The workshops are easy to understand with no medical jargon. Each workshop will  appeal to your diverse workforce – examples will showcase cultural diversity as well as a cross section of employees, from hourly workers to executives. Each workshop lasts 1 hour. Here is a Soaringwords Workshops-Webinars 2 page letter, which includes Lisa Buksbaum’s bio.

Workshops include:

  • Shifting: Creating Positive Transformations in Your Attitude, Body, and Overall Well-being
  • Optimism: Finding Good Things To Notice and Celebrate, Even When Times Are Difficult
  • Altruism: Gaining A Sense Of Control, Calm, and Purpose by Sharing Your Creativity, Kindness, and Hope With Others
  • Resilience: Overcoming the Seven Thinking Traps
  • Imagery: Tap Into Your Inner Knowledge to Heal
  • Narrative: The Power of Storytelling, Writing, and Reading
  • Gratitude: Building a Gratitude Fortress
  • Character Strengths: Discover and Amplify Your Unique Strengths
  • What to Say and Do to Support Families of Seriously Ill Children or Special Needs Children or Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver
  • Positive Psychology Master Class: Tools You Can Use
  • Post Traumatic Growth

“The Soaringwords webinar was a big success with 100% of participants giving it the highest ratings. Soaringwords provided practice insights that will help employees support co-workers, friends, and their own families.” -Wendy Breiterman, Director, Global Work/Life Strategies, Office of Global Diversity & Inclusion, Johnson & Johnson

CSR Initiatives: Soaringwords has 95 proprietary trademarked initiatives for CSR/Marketing programs for customers.

SOARING into Strength. The Positive Psychology Approach to Help Children and Families Heal:
Soaringwords pioneered a new positive psychology model to enhance well being of patients, their families, and caregivers. This evidence-based model (Buksbaum, 2013) was called SOAR and has been tested among hundreds of patients in the U.S. A new study SOARING into Strength (launch date, 2017) will expand the sample beyond the U.S. to assess the impact among thousands of pediatric patients and their families, and hospital staff. Each participant will be given a series of questions (pre and post-event measurement for each intervention) to show the change in well-being. All Soaringwords’ workshops and trainings are based on the SOARING into Strength Positive Health model which consists of seven components:

  • Shifting: you can do something to create a positive shift in your attitude, your body, and overall well-being.  
  • Optimism: you can choose to find good things to notice and celebrate even when times are difficult or painful. 
  • Altruism: you can gain a sense of control, calm, and purpose by sharing your creativity, kindness, character strengths, and hope with others.
  • Resiliency: you have the capacity to flourish in the face of difficulty.
  • Imagery: you can tap into your inner knowledge to heal. 
  • Narrative: you can heal though the power of storytelling, writing, and reading.
  • Gratitude: you can choose to experience moments of appreciation, even in the midst of challenges.

The SOARING interventions, workshops and trainings do not employ medical jargon and can be enjoyed by children and adults, inviting everyone to take active roles in healing and developing their own sense of self-worth and belonging. 

For more information please contact us: 917-499-3783, heal@soaringwords.org

 Corporate Testimonials
The Soaringwords event was such a wonderful experience and a great way to feel as if I really made a difference. It was a really nice reality check, because we often get caught up in the day-to-day workings of the business and forget about the “bigger picture.” The entire team loved working with the school children and doing something so relaxing. It created a strong bond between the employees and made us feel good about our company too. Soaringwords is a fantastic organization. Lauren Dardick, American Express Soaringwords Volunteer Team Leader

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Soaringwords Hospital Outreach mission at Beth Israel Hospital.  We delivered pillows and blankets to over a dozen sick children. Many of the children were left at the hospital alone because their parents were working and had nothing in their hospital rooms to bring them comfort, so you can imagine how excited the children were when we arrived with the Soaringwords gifts.  It was clear that we made the children feel special by helping them realize that other people were thinking about them and were sending them love and support.  The experience was incredibly rewarding. —Maria Bashian, Senior Manager in Establishment Services, American Express

Lilly has over 500 employees tutoring children in the ReadUP program. Incorporating Soaringwords curricula and hands-on activities teaches children how to use their literary skills by giving to others. It’s a great feeling to give school children an opportunity to incorporate such a powerful social action project into their lives and to give our employees a powerful way to connect with each other and children in the community. –Sherrie Bossung, Manager of Corporate Brand and Volunteer Strategy, Eli Lilly and Company

131 Accenture professionals and 75 high school students from the local Boys & Girls Club in Elgin decorated 100 SoaringQuilts® and 100 SoaringPillows® with inspirational messages and artwork to donate to patients and families at St. Alexis Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House
This was a great way of helping the ill children. I have kids myself and have had experience with illness so I appreciate a lot of these initiatives. The kids on my team spoke Spanish, like I do.  It was a great activity to do with the kids. Our team worked really well, we all did parts of the drawings together. I think the hospitalized children will feel fantastic, some time to not be thinking about their bad situations.  Today changed the way I think about myself as I was able to take a step back from the high speed we live in and be part of a great initiative.  – Hendrik J. Van Vliet, Accenture employee 

On behalf of the hundreds of employees who attended the Soaringwords webinar, please accept our sincere thanks for an outstanding learning experience for all who attended. I have received many positive comments about the webinar from attendees and the relevance of the content to both their professional and personal lives. It has been heartwarming to hear how employees have been able to apply some of the perspectives provided during the session to enhance their level of interaction with co-workers to foster an even greater sense of community here at Northrop Grumman. We take pride in the strong level of camaraderie that exists within our organization and the “What to Say/Do to Support Co-Workers and Family Members with Serious Illness” webinar delivered suggestions for actions and behaviors that are closely aligned with our core values. Additionally, the content had strong carryover to the work that we are doing in our communities and provided practical advice for us to provide support within our own families.

Based on the positive and unanimous response from employees, we want to invite you to share Soaringwords initiatives with our leadership team during the next national Corporate Citizenship Council meeting. This will be a wonderful opportunity to encourage our managers from across our corporation to integrate Soaringwords hands-on employee volunteer initiatives with employees nationwide in the months ahead. We continue to receive positive feedback about the webinar and employees who were on the call continue to share the information with employees who were not on the call—a real tribute to the high caliber of the content, your delivery and importance of the topic. The lead for our national employee resource group for new employees (includes thousands of members across the country) said it was the “best” lunchtime seminar he has attended. Thanks again to you and Cisco for the delivery of a high impact webinar that has enabled our employees to enhance our connections at work, at home and in our communities. –Debbie Edwards Veihdeffer, Director, Work-Life Integration, Human Resources Strategic Initiatives, Northrop Grumman

The Cisco NYC Civic Council has sponsored Soaringwords initiatives for our management employees on site and also invited employees to mentor inner-city children as part of the Soaringwords Educational Outreach programs. During the past year, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa Buksbaum, Soaringwords CEO and to supporting Soaringwords during this time of significant growth.

Often it seems as if it is virtually impossible to get our team of Cisco professionals to pull themselves away from their Blackberries and meetings to do something for the community or for them. We tend to work a lot at Cisco. The Soaringwords events were truly remarkable in that the professionals who came were able to focus on the Soaringwords team-building programs and really connect with co-workers when the events were internal… and able to mentor inner-city children and share with employees when we went to local schools.

As the Civic Council liaison, I truly appreciate that Soaringwords gave us all of the tools to recruit employees to sign up and ran the entire event, providing all of the logistics. Soaringwords provides the entire program-in-a-box so you can have a great program and not spent hours putting it together.” —Lynley Noviello, Regional Manager and Soaringwords NYC Civic Council team co-captain, Cisco Systems

Your Soaringwords presentation and hands-on team-building activity made this year’s Take Our Children to Work Day soar. Your inspirational keynote was incredible, you could hear the silence in the giant tent as 2,000 kids and employees listened to your every word. I was thrilled to see over 600 participants coming together in community to decorate the quilts and pillows in the Soaringwords activities. It was beautiful to see such camaraderie and enthusiasm as Cisco employees and children came together for such a great cause.Jennifer Mitchell, Corporate Events Manager, Cisco Systems

At the 2010 Working Mother Best Companies for Multicultural Women Conference, I met Lisa Honig Buksbaum, CEO and Founder of Soaringwords.  Lisa and I hit it off instantly during a break and we exchanged business cards.  Her passion for her organization was contagious and I knew I wanted to find some way to work with her in the future.  Post meeting, we spoke periodically and when the time came for me to plan a networking event for my Finance/Program Management/Global Procurement department this May, I felt that there was nothing that would be more meaningful than having the department bond over creating beautiful quilts and pillows to bring to ill children in local hospitals. We held this event on May 17, 2011 and 250 colleagues together with the help of the Soaringwords team created 150 quilts and 150 pillows working together at four sites globally (Raritan, NJ, Spring House, PA, Beerse, Belgium and High Wycombe, UK).  We have since made hospital visits to deliver these to the children, which as a mother both broke and touched my heart. My colleagues and I have enormously benefitted from this experience and one which I will continue to treasure.  –Andrea Rose-Legatt, MBA, PMP, Sr. Director, Business Solutions, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC

Soaringwords has been part of the Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks initiative for the past five years. During this time, Lisa has nurtured the relationship and grown it from the first volunteer experience with 15 employees in NYC, to sharing Soaringwords initiatives with hundreds of employees in five different offices this past summer. From NY, Jersey City, to Chicago and Atlanta, Lisa and Soaringwords has motivated our professionals to do something meaningful to help ill children. Soaringwords programs are easy to layer into our existing relationships with Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and many local schools and hospitals.

When we shared Soaringwords programs with hundreds of children in multiple offices at the Goldman Sachs “Take Our Children to Work” day experience two years ago there was total silence in the room. Imagine the energy and excitement as hundreds of children applauded after the Soaringwords DVD finished and they knew that they could spend the next hour being a healing agent for a hospitalized child.Marilyn Duffy Grande, Community TeamWorks Program Manager, Goldman Sachs

Our exposure to Soaringwords was inspirational and for many, the highlight of our conference. On behalf of our 150 Network Engineering management employees, I wanted to thank you for the outstanding keynote speech you gave at the Verizon Leadership Conferences. Our team was greatly impacted by your personal story of heroism, success and dedication. You are both an excellent speaker and role model. Your facilitation of the conference community service activity of decorating pillows and quilts, with hundreds of children from the Boys and Girls Clubs, allowed our managers to experience leadership at a new level. (In our telecommunications engineering work, we typically don’t receive such immediate or tangible feedback!) Our Verizon employees were very rewarded by the kids’ smiles and to know that our handiwork will bring comfort and joy to hospitalized children. The employees loved seeing the Soaringwords Verizon Program on TV and in the full page article in the Herald Tribune.Anne Cortissoz, Director of Network Engineering, Verizon

The Soaringwords Community Impact Day was incredible. The 300 Deloitte professionals loved mentoring the 355 children from PS 152. Everything was so professional and well-orchestrated. From the opening ceremony, to the actual SoaringQuilts and Pillows project, to the closing award ceremony where every student received a certificate … it was a powerful team-building experience for all of our employees and the students. The hospital visit and having the opportunity to give hundreds of patients a gift from our hearts made the day complete. Thanks for such a tremendous and wonderful experience.John Murtha, Manager, Community Impact Day, Deloitte

MetLife has shared Soaringwords initiatives with our employees since 2004. Last year, over 300 MetLife employees in six offices around the country enjoyed being part of Soaringwords for Make a Difference Day. This year, I emailed the team captains in eight offices and within 24 hours over 1,015 employees had signed up to participate with Soaringwords. We featured the Soaringwords New Orleans Healing Mission in our Foundation Annual Report and we delighted to have MetLife employees from the region deliver the quilts and pillows to children and families at the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. This is an organization that is professional, personable, innovative and delivers tremendous take-home value for our employees. They also make it a pleasure for me to manage these programs since they are pros.Mavel Jones, Program Manager, MetLife Foundation