Salesforce Employees Give Back Big in Canada
Canada is a country that has huge heart. Giving back, supporting those in need and creating a sense of community is commonplace across the nation. Nowhere will you find that more evident than in the cities of Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick which are home to two of our Salesforce Eastern hubs.
Fredericton is the capital of the province, the original home of Radian6 which was acquired by Salesforce in 2011. Since then, the employee base has grown in leveraging the Salesforce philanthropic 1-1-1 model, with 2014 being a banner year for community contributions. The office had 94% participation rate in Salesforce.org driven events, lead by a stellar council that ensured a variety of nonprofit organizations benefited.
One of the most talked about and high impact projects was the Fredericton High School extreme makeover. Over a two week period last summer, employees gave 200 hours of volunteer time or sweat equity as it were, renovating the very tired and lackluster method and resource department that serves 100 special needs students daily. The Salesforce employee volunteers worked with the local Home Depot who supplied materials at cost/discount and DJC Carpentry which provided pro bono services to make the build happen with the $20,000 team grant given through Salesforce.org. Eight laptops and three iPads were also donated by Salesforce.org. That technology was utilized to enhance learning and communication skills for the students. It was an inspiring collaborative effort between employees, teachers, and community friends.
The result? An amazing space for staff to provide care and resources for their students. Bonus, the local chapter of Best Buddies, an international nonprofit organization that creates friendships between special need students and their peers now has one of the most highly coveted office spaces in the school. “Without Salesforce.org’s funding, this makeover wouldn’t have happened,” says teacher Lori Hay. “This new space has changed the delivery of our services…and allows for social integration and an inclusive environment for a population that is often forgotten.”
An hour and half drive away is the city of Saint John. Youth unemployment is high and many families struggle with 50% of youth living in poverty. The Teen Resource Centre or TRC as it is known, “provides safe and encouraging environments for youth to explore their full potential”. Salesforce.org was able to further that mission with a generous donation of $244,000 over the last two years. Through this funding the established programs were able to be enhanced as well as provide momentum for new initiatives. These include TAC, a leadership development program and Gurl World which provides young women ages 13-18 a safe place to socialize and discuss important issues.
“The donation from Salesforce.org is invaluable,” says Executive Director, June Breu-Nason. “It allowed my team and I not to chase smaller grants so we could focus our efforts on improving what we already were doing – further reach and higher impact to the youth we serve.” A great example of this is the small business creation of No-Snow-Bros, a small startup focused on snow removal in the city, which was in high demand with record snowfalls this winter. Six young men worked with June and her team to produce a business plan for execution. To date, they have earned $2,000 with 25% of that going back into their company.
Through Salesforce.org grants and employee volunteering, communities like Fredericton and Saint John are able to give a hand up versus a handout, creating lasting impact for all involved.
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