Leaping from tall buildings, planting seedlings and helping restore flood-damaged homes are just a few of the things employees got up to throughout September during what TransCanada dubbed its Get Empowered Month.
Through Empower — the company’s employee giving and volunteering program — 2,700 hours of time and over $500,000 were raised to benefit communities where TransCanada operates across North America.
“Our employees have heart and genuinely care about our communities. I believe 2014 can be our best year yet for giving and volunteering,” says Ashley Wishart, program lead for Empower at TransCanada.
“Empower encourages employees to give back to their communities in ways that resonate with them personally. Our people matter and working together, we make giving matter.”
— Ashley Wishart, program lead for Empower at TransCanada
The goal of Empower is to support choice and flexibility in giving and volunteering. Since launching the program in March, 2013, TransCanada employees have tripled their giving and volunteering to the causes that matter most to them.
Easter Seals Drop Zone
How far would you go to help people in need? How about 30 storeys down! On September 4, a brave team of nine TransCanada employees rappelled down a building in support of persons with disabilities through the Easter Seals Drop Zone.
“I decided to do the Easter Seals Drop Zone because it’s personal. My son has autism and he uses Easter Seals . . . They’re just a great foundation for our family,” says Carman Podd, TransCanada employee and Drop Zone participant. “Doing this rappel was by far the most terrifying thing I have ever done. I was full of adrenaline as I went down the building and in my head all I heard was [my son] saying ‘Good job mommy’, he really is my superhero every single day.”
TransCanada employees fundraised more than $23,000 for Easter Seals, including a $10,000 match from Empower.
Nature Conservancy Canada — Habitat Restoration Day
Equipped with safety gear, water bottles and an overview of the habitat, a team of TransCanada volunteers made the journey out near Pine Lake, Alta., on September 15 for a hands-on habitat restoration experience with Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC).
In one day, a group of TransCanada volunteers planted 628 native shrubs in three forested islands at NCC’s HG Lawrence property.
“That is an amazing step forward in helping re-vegetate the property and bring back the forest understory,” says Kailey Setter, Conservation Volunteers Coordinator with NCC.
“Working with NCC to plant seedlings was a great learning experience. Not only did we learn how to properly plant native shrubs, we learned about the amazing work TransCanada has been doing with NCC to conserve lands across the province,” says TransCanada volunteer, Catherine Nantel-Philibert.
“Being able to see these beautiful easements first hand really helped me to grasp the importance of the work TransCanada is doing with environmental groups like NCC.”
— Catherine Nantel-Philibert, TransCanada volunteer
TransCanada was the first partner to work with NCC in their new Corporate Conservation Volunteers Program.
Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta — Flood Victim Assistance (ReNewal Program)
On September 17 and 19, teams of TransCanada volunteers eagerly climbed aboard a bus to High River to help our neighbours in need through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. Since the devastating floods of 2013, many High River residents are still struggling to restore their homes and return to normalcy.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and help flood victims. These are the things we do for friends and neighbours, but when everyone in a community needs help, strangers become neighbours,” says Angela Poafpybitty, a TransCanada volunteer.
Teams of eight took up power tools, hand tools, paint brushes and gardening tools to help move a local resident’s home to the finishing stages after more than a year of restoration work. Additionally, as part of TransCanada’s commitment to flood recovery, we’ve sponsored a new Habitat project in High River that will provide housing to a flood-affected family in 2015.
“We could not accomplish all of the work that is needed without such wonderful, enthusiastic groups of volunteers.”
— Amy Wilhelm, volunteer coordinator, Habitat for Humanity.
“It was a great chance to get out of the office environment and interact with the community. I also had the privilege of meeting new coworkers from departments I don’t typically interact with. It was truly a pleasure working with the supervisors, and I used some power tools for the first time in my life!” says Megan Heidt, a TransCanada volunteer.
Click here for more information on TransCanada’s employee giving and volunteering program. Donations through TransCanada’s employee giving and volunteering program are administered by Benevity.