Newer, younger associates take the lead by establishing a Community Involvement group
"Helping at the Marian Centre really reinforced that need comes in all shapes and sizes. Everyone eventually needs some kind of help and if we are able to help, even in a small way, we should," says Drayton Valley branch team member Tammy Pequin.
For about a year now, some of the newer and younger associates of Edmonton Valve & Fitting have been making an extra effort to get involved in community service. It grew out of an effort we call the Emerging Professionals. The members involved decided to break off into two smaller groups, one focusing on associate events such as the Corporate Challenge and the other, the Community Involvement group, focusing on giving back to our city.
"There are five of us. We're about helping out in the community, whether it is volunteering or fund-raising," says account manager Andrew Worthington. "The goal here is to promote the fact that we are engaged."
Most of the activities are geared toward helping to feed people, says Delia Roman, our eBusiness expert. One of the first projects last year as a group was purchasing sandwiches and coffee, and then distributing the food in downtown Edmonton near a night shelter for the homeless.
"We were surprised to see how many people needed it, and the feelings we had experienced," Delia says.
Another activity the group participated in was volunteering for the day at the Marian Centre dining room, preparing a hot meal from scratch for about 135 people.
Edmonton Valve & Fitting has been a longtime supporter of the Stollery Children's Hospital. Our annual golf tournament raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. This year the Community Involvement members helped raise money for the Stollery during their annual Corus Radiothon by spending a morning on the phone, answering calls and taking donations.
The Community Involvement members also took charge of organizing Edmonton Valve & Fitting's group blood donation this year as part of the Edmonton and Area Corporate Challenge.
There's probably no more personal gift someone can give than their own blood. "We ended up first in our division," Delia says. "We donated the most blood of companies involved, and we had the most new donors. We are very happy with the way it turned out, and we are thinking of making it a semiannual event."
In addition to the main mission of helping the community, these activities promote a culture inside the company of helping others. They also give the members a chance to develop their leadership skills.
"Most of the volunteering is done on our own time, with our own money," Roman says. "We donate the hours gladly. Usually we do our activities on Saturdays, but we do some of them throughout the week before and after work. We're very passionate about it. And we have the support of management."
To help with the costs that are associated with some of the projects, the team has recently kicked off their “Eco-Corner” initiative. Through selling off scrap metal and recycling collected bottles and cans donated by associates, these extra contributions will help the team go further in their efforts of helping those in need. And of course, if any of our customers want to help out, we would welcome their bottle and can donations for the cause. Just stop by the office and ask for Delia.
People who join Edmonton Valve & Fitting often stay with us for years, even decades. We expect the groundwork being laid by the Community Involvement group to yield long-term benefits both to the Edmonton community and to our own corporate culture.