When you think about volunteering, it is probably not your own employer that comes to mind. We encourage you to think about what your employer does (or could do!) when you hear the stories of some of the past recipients in the Business Leader category of Canada’s Volunteer Awards, an annual recognition program administered by the Government of Canada.

One of the 2018 recipients in this category was ENMAX Corporation. In 2017, ENMAX and its employees set out to strengthen their contributions to the City of Calgary by launching “The Year of the Volunteer”.  Tied into Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s “Three Things for Canada” challenge, ENMAX challenged its employees to get out of the office and make a difference in the lives of those around them. ENMAX set a goal of 3,300 volunteer hours for the year, but by the end of the year, ENMAX employees had achieved over 5,800 volunteer hours in service of their community. They made their community stronger and broke down barriers as well as assumptions about people in need, and weaved their corporate value of service into everything they accomplished.

ENMAX provided over 120 different volunteer opportunities for its team members to volunteer, including opportunities to learn and effect change in the community by focusing on personal interactions at the local level. Employees visited seniors at their residences, brought homeless and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to the zoo, hosted homeless families at a Fall Fair barbecue, and donated and installed lighting at youth shelters. The company also collaborated with the local Humane Society to support a program that takes care of the pets of those fleeing domestic violence. Workers with a musical gift performed shows at the local drop-in centre, while fellow employees prepped and served meals. Employees passionate about physical health organized softball and hockey games with those in addiction recovery to provide healthy recreational experiences.

Another inspirational past recipient in the Business Leader category is the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC). In 2014, NBCC launched the Robertson Institute for Community Leadership Experience to enhance the College’s vision of “transforming lives and communities.” Through the program, every NBCC student participates in volunteer and service learning opportunities as part of a course on leadership and volunteering, which supports students in deepening community connections and developing innovative solutions. Since the program’s launch, students and staff have contributed over 36,000 hours to more than 675 community activities across New Brunswick. These meaningful hands-on projects have included metal fabrication students building instrument stands for music outreach programs; health students taking seniors’ vital signs; business students providing marketing support to a community kitchen; and, students in early childhood education working with early literacy programs. These activities provide valuable support to communities across the province, and they provide students with an opportunity to develop essential skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving which will set them apart in their future careers and in life.

Does your employer contribute to local community engagement? Are you proud of the work done in your company’s name to improve situations for members of the community?

Nominate your employer for a Canada’s Volunteer Award today!

Call for Nominations is open from April 8, 2019 to June 21, 2019