• Giving Back

Finding Happiness in the Ability to Give

Morgan Stanley’s Yoko Murashima on Volunteering and the Firm’s Global Volunteer Month Efforts

As a high school student in California, the volunteer work built into her curriculum really taught Yoko Murashima the importance of giving back to the community. Today, she brings that same enthusiasm to Morgan Stanley’s Tokyo office.

Murashima’s favorite volunteer experience involves the “Happy Flower Project,” organized by ARTS for HOPE. This program provides art therapy at children’s hospitals and disaster-hit areas in the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan, one of the most devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Morgan Stanley employees and their families work on paper-craft flower projects that benefit those still making efforts toward recovery in the region.

Support from her Morgan Stanley colleagues continues to inspire Murashima to organize and participate in more volunteer events. “I gain so much support from my teammates when I have an idea to organize an event,” notes Murashima. “At all levels in the firm, my philanthropic ideas are supported and I personally feel Morgan Stanley really embraces volunteering.”

For Murashima, volunteering means giving and receiving. “I find happiness in the ability to give and am thankful for the experiences I receive from volunteering,” she says. She encourages others to get involved in volunteering, and adds that there is no need to think or worry too much about doing it—you just have to try it.

In addition to ARTS for HOPE, Murashima is also inspired by Children’s International Summer Villages, an organization that offers international educational programs that promote peace through intercultural friendships, cooperation and understanding.

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