MacRumors and other sites have posted an email from Tim Cook about a new program inside Apple where charitable contributions from employees will be matched by Apple up to $10,000. This is wonderful and welcome news — the kind I’ve been hoping to hear for some time now.

Apple has been slowly taking more action in public settings over the last few years: most notably, the It Gets Better video linked above and its contribution against California’s same sex marriage ban in 2008. There’s been inevitable speculation about the timing of this move, now that Steve Jobs is no longer CEO and came under personal fire last week for not giving enough. The truth is this stuff takes a while to put together. I see no reason to believe it’s a response to any event or provocation.

Regardless, I hope it continues. A lot of people admire Apple. The more it can do to publicly support good causes, the better.