Man­ulife proud com­mu­nity booster

National Post (Latest Edition) - - MOST ADMIRED CORPORATE CULTURES -

Across the globe in 2014, Man­ulife, its em­ploy­ees and its pro­grams con­trib­uted $32.8 mil­lion and 88,694 vol­un­teer hours to non- profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, so there’s no ques­tion that em­ploy­ees firmly be­lieve in giv­ing back to the com­mu­ni­ties in which they live and work.

In fact, Man­ulife has a long his­tory of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, with its first recorded char­i­ta­ble do­na­tion of $500 to the Muskoka Free Hos­pi­tal for Con­sump­tives in On­tario in 1904. To­day, char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions are just one com­po­nent of a broader com­mu­nity in­vest­ment pro­gram that puts em­ploy­ees front and cen­tre.

Man­ulife has gone as far as grant­ing two days an­nu­ally to each em­ployee in Canada to vol­un­teer for ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing com­pany time. Those who vol­un­teer more than 24 hours to a char­ity can ap­ply to Man­ulife’s Help­ing Hands pro­gram for a grant of $ 500 to­ward that char­ity. In­di­vid­u­als who raise funds for a reg­is­tered fundrais­ing event are also el­i­gi­ble for match­ing funds of up to $ 150 through the com­pany’s Pow­erMatch pro­gram.

Man­ulife sup­ports a num­ber of char­i­ties, in­clud­ing Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity for lo­cal con­struc­tion projects that pro­vide ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties for team- buildi ng and self- ex­plo­ration. Roshan Bas­net, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions op­ti­miza­tion with Man­ulife’s in­vest­ment divi­sion, has par­tic­i­pated in two of th­ese events. “Both ex­pe­ri­ences have been very re­ward­ing and I get a sense of sat­is­fac­tion that makes me proud to rep­re­sent Man­ulife and its com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity.”

For 30 years, Man­ulife’s U. S. divi­sion, John Hancock, has been the prin­ci­pal spon­sor of the Bos­ton Marathon. More than 10,000 vol­un­teers con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of the marathon ev­ery year, join­ing more than half a mil­lion fans along the course. Em­ploy­ees in the U. S., Canada and Asia are given the op­por­tu­nity to run in this prom­i­nent race. In 2015, Man­ulife’s 32 Cana­dian run­ners raised US$ 64,000 for this ef­fort, which sup­ported the com­pany’s on­go­ing part­ner­ship with Path­ways to Education.

“As the lead for the Cana­dian em­ployee train­ing pro­gram and par­tic­i­pant in the Bos­ton Marathon, I felt a sense of pride and ac­com­plish­ment not only for hav­ing raised money for Path­ways to Education but also for hav­ing trained along­side my co- work­ers across the coun­try, some of whom had never run more than five kilo­me­tres,” says Derek Myke, pro­ject man­ager for phi­lan­thropy and spon­sor­ships. “We all com­mit­ted to eat­ing healthy and train­ing six times a week for over seven months to make sure we com­pleted the pres­ti­gious race.”

Be­yond North Amer­ica, in 2014 more than 3,000 em­ploy­ees and agents par­tic­i­pated in the an­nual Walk for Mil­lions that has raised more than HK$ 14 mil­lion to sup­port 23 so­cial- wel­fare agen­cies in Hong Kong. The Waku Waku Room pro­gram has helped es­tab­lish 10 recre­ation spa­ces for chil­dren in hospi­tals t hrough­out Ja­pan, and more than 2,200 hel­mets have been dis­trib­uted to stu­dents, teach­ers and par­ents in Cam­bo­dia to pro­mote road safety.

Back in Canada, Panayiotou and her fam­ily reg­is­tered their pet as a ther­apy dog. Weekly vis­its to the de­men­tia ward at a lo­cal se­nior’s home pro­vide com­fort to the fa­cil­ity’s res­i­dents. “I strug­gled to find the right thing for me ini­tially, but see­ing what oth­ers at Man­ulife were do­ing helped put me on my own path.”

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