It was September 12th and I was walking on the streets of Toronto with a few colleagues *queue rap music*. We were all smiling, sharing stories about our families and learning about each other, what makes each other tick and laugh and well, be human. We were part of a large group gathered together to raise awareness, money, and to walk for the people we cared for that had battled cancer in one way or another. This is the OneWalk to Conquer Cancer that Ceridian Cares walkers participate in every year, in 2016 we surpassed our fundraising goal raising over $20,000.
My humble beginnings with the Ceridian Cares journey started a few years ago, when I signed up to make pancakes on a cold, crisp morning at an office fundraising event. God bless Cande Dandele, who is a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration to me, for leading the charge all these years in raising the stakes with the Ceridian Cares OneWalk team. Seeing all members sign up with such passion and commitment really opened my eyes. These are our colleagues, coworkers, and friends who have all been touched by cancer. Whether it be a parent, a sibling, a child, a partner or spouse, a friend or even a neighbor – we were all in it for one cause and it was humbling to be joined by the colleagues who enter and exit the same offices as I do each day.
Why give back?
We’re human and humans need fun – Walking with my colleagues for cancer wasn’t only humbling, it was fun, so fun! But you don’t have to do a walk, you can serve a fundraising meal or host a potluck and invite your leaders to join in too. Paul Elliott is always eager to cater our annual employee giving campaign kick-off event with timbits and coffee and it always gives the office a chance to remember that while the business is what we come to work for, we aren’t all business. We’re human too and we need to know and learn from each other. Meeting people you may have interacted with once (or never), seeing them in a new light, learning what they are passionate about in and outside of work – it really helps build a sense of Family.
Satisfaction – my huge reason I love giving back to our communities, is the complete and utter satisfaction I get by helping someone with no strings attached – it’s immeasurable, really, and I feel selfish at how great it makes me feel. A smile back at you that melts the heart, or the people cheering back at you, during a fundraising walk. Seeing pictures of their loved ones who suffered, and getting high-fives and hugs to simply walk with your work friends and family. I can’t say enough. It just isn’t possible to put a price on the impact giving back has on my own well-being and overall engagement at work. It really is addictive and I do love it.
Humility – it keeps us grounded. Personally, I have everything I could ever imagine or ask for. Not everyone is as lucky as I feel I am. We should give back to those who are not as fortunate as us and as Dave always said, “giving where we’re living” is as important in business as anything. We owe it to our communities to give back to them.
Inspiring – I was inspired by my teammate Cande. She was once inspired by Dave MacKay – who, as a founder of our Canadian charity, personified everything that Ceridian Cares stands for. He’s a bit of a grand-inspiration to me through Cande. It starts with simply remembering someone in the community’s name, to serving food side by side, to walking a few miles for a good cause.
Through Ceridian Cares, our late president Dave MacKay started a movement at Ceridian. Through him, Cande Dandele inspired me. Inspire one, they’ll inspire a movement.