Friday, December 14, 2007
Many of us are familiar with Batman or Spiderman and their super attributes from multiple film and comic book incarnations. But you might not be as familiar with a superhero swathed in aquamarine Lycra, sporting appropriately heroic pecs emblazoned with an iconic 'G.' Yes, that's Googleman, who manifested in various colorful forms at last week's 'Superhero' day at our London office.
While Google is usually a fun place to work, last Friday was especially fun -- with a purpose. London Googlers donned costumes and partook in themed activities to raise money for two local charities: Kids Company establishes educational and therapeutic programs for at-risk children, and Refuge offers shelter, support and counseling for those affected by domestic violence.
Although many of our Londoners arrived at work in hero attire (and we can just imagine the reaction of fellow commuters on the Tube), those without a superhero alter-ego could select underwear (to be worn over their pants, naturally), masks and other paraphernalia, and transform themselves at the office. Please note that not everyone defined "superhero" as a masked, caped and Spandexed defender of justice; the entire cast of Scooby Doo, Inspector Gadget, and even Jesus were on hand. And to commemorate their heroic personas, there was an improvised blue screen for 'flying' photo ops.
Googlers dined on superfoods -- antioxidant-rich eats that include salmon, spinach and broccoli -- and donated money based on the cost of such a lunch. Book and T-shirt vendors were on hand for those wishing to do a little holiday shopping, with 10 to 20% of the proceeds earmarked for the charities. Those wishing to move their own undesirable gifts along participated in a re-gifting sale, in which re-gifts were sold with all proceeds going to the chosen causes. A bike auction rounded out the day's fundraising events to bring the grand total for the charities to £1200 or more. Scroll through this photo album to have a giggle, and perhaps to be inspired for your own fun with giving.