Thanks to the generosity of employees and in-house contractors from across the company, TransCanada’s second annual Get Empowered! campaign, held this September, raised over $730,000 for registered charities in Canada and the U.S. That’s a 44 per cent increase over last year’s campaign.
“I was surprised and extremely humbled by everyone’s generosity,” said Heather MacDonald, program lead for Empower. “But we know our people – TransCanada has heart and genuinely cares about its communities. Through the increase in participation, volunteering and giving we’ve seen in Empower, employees and contractors have once again shown their dedication to causes they care about.”
And money wasn’t the only thing employees and in-house contractors gave – a total of 4,934 volunteer hours were logged last month, which is an 82 per cent increase from 2014.
“We knew this year could present a challenge due to the economic times, but we also knew now more than ever, our communities needed our help,” said Andrea Jalbert, vice-president of Community & Sustainability. “It was inspiring to see our employees, contractors, and executives step up and show their support and make giving matter through our Empower program.”
Below are just a few examples of how TransCanada employees got empowered in all three of our operating countries:
An active living and volunteering event was organized in the Guadalajara region by employees, family and friends, and raised funds in benefit of the amputee soccer team “Ciclones de Colima.” The Ciclones are made up of people that have lost a leg or arm from accidents or illnesses, but wish to live their lives in an active and productive way.
The “Active Living for Them” event encouraged people to get active and get involved in their community. The day’s activities included soccer games for men and women, a free CrossFit session taught by a TransCanada volunteer and home-cooked meals. All event supplies and equipment were sponsored or donated by family, friends and employees.
“Meeting these soccer players and sharing time with them was motivational and inspiring to me,” said Laura Martinez, administrative associate for TransCanada’s Guadalajara Field Operations. “They are an example to many of us who are physically able to do any sport. They made me want to put on my shoes and live a more active life.”
In total, 35 employees, family and friends and eight amputee players participated, with donations directed to the soccer team to purchase sports apparel such as soccer balls, shoes, drill cones, shin protectors and socks.
Inclement weather didn’t keep the Houston crowd from fulfilling their promise to trim trees and beautify the landscape surrounding the Star of Hope Transitional Living Center and Men’s Shelter.
“Growing up in Houston I have of course heard of Star of Hope and knew they provided much needed services. Thanks to TransCanada I had a chance to see firsthand the great work they do there,” said Walter Marshall, revenue accountant with TransCanada’s USPL Commercial Services. “I saw the mothers sending their kids off to school and the smiles on both their faces. I know that without a facility like the Star of Hope there is good a chance these families might not even be together. It is great to be able to work for a company that allows and encourages their employees to give back to the community.”
A team of more than 20 volunteers spent a hands-on day in the great outdoors working alongside Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff to remove a double barbed wire fence that is acting as a barrier to wildlife movement. Fences are part of a working landscape, but when they fall into disrepair they can become hazardous to animals that can get caught and tangled in their fallen wires.
“Since we work on working landscapes where people are still working alongside wildlife, we have all these fences on conservation lands that need to be maintained and taken care of,” says Kailey Setter, conservation volunteer coordinator with NCC. “Volunteers are critical to the work we do at the Nature Conservancy of Canada. So when we have a group of 20 people say they want to come out and help us, we are overjoyed. The work they can accomplish in a single day is more than we can do on our own in a year most of the time.”
By removing old fences and replacing them with wildlife-friendly fencing, volunteers help prevent injury to deer and moose attempting to go over or under the fence, reduce bird collisions with fences by 70 to 80 per cent and remove barriers to larger bird species such as the critically endangered Greater Sage Grouse.
Read more about TransCanada’s commitment to communities in our 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility report.