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We’re in the holiday spirit at Red Hat and celebrating the best way we know how – the open source way! Open source is not only a superior model for software development which has helped Red Hat grow its business, it’s also a great way to leverage the power of collective philanthropy. Red Hat associates in the United States have put this power of collective philanthropy to work in selecting a charity for the company’s annual holiday donation.

Red Hat’s holiday donation started in 2008, during the depths of the economic recession. Red Hat associates, including executive leaders, decided to significantly scale down traditional office holiday parties and instead donate the funds allocated toward U.S. holiday parties to charity. Red Hat has posted solid results over the past several quarters, but nearly every Red Hat associate knows someone who has been impacted by the recession – whether it’s a family member, friend, neighbor, etc. Scaling down holiday parties and donating those funds to charity has been one way for Red Hatters to show their support across the communities where we live, work and play.

In true open source fashion, we’ve selected charities to receive our annual holiday donation through a completely transparent and open process. Starting in October, associates are encouraged to nominate their favorite charities for consideration. This year, we received more than 30 nominations. Associates then voted for the charity receiving our holiday donation through an open voting process open to all U.S. employees.

We’re pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s Red Hat holiday donation is the Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit that works on a global, national and local level to enhance care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The Alzheimer’s Association runs more than 4,500 support groups throughout the country and connects people across the globe through online message boards.

"Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50 to 70 percent of dementia cases and impacting more than five million Americans," said Lisa Roberts, Executive Officer- Eastern North Carolina, with the Alzheimer’s Association. "Red Hat’s donation will help us accelerate our mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease and provide the best care and support to those living with Alzheimer’s and related disorders."

Red Hat has increased the dollar amount of our donation in 2010 by 50% over our first holiday donation in 2008. We’re thrilled to not only donate money, but for Red Hatters to also donate their time to help others this holiday season. In addition to a monetary donation, Red Hat associates across the United States will participate in a charitable drive and volunteer events to benefit senior citizens in communities where we maintain offices.

The open source way permeates throughout Red Hat to not just our products and technologies, but also our culture. We see the power of participation every day through sharing ideas and inventions and getting new ideas from developers, customers, and leaders outside of Red Hat’s corporate structure. We’re committed to leveraging the power of collective philanthropy in a meaningful and purposeful way to provide the needed resources to strengthen our communities. By collaborating on charitable events together, Red Hat associates are creating a greater impact in the community.

Read more about our annual holiday donation on as DeLisa Alexander, senior vice president, People + Brand, further describes how this annual tradition started, the charities we’ve support in past years and the areas where Red Hat focuses its charitable giving efforts.

If you’d like to join Red Hat in supporting the Alzheimer’s Association, please consider making a donation here.

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