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CSR Staff Endeavors 2015

San Jose embrace spirit of giving

SanJose_TeamPicColleagues in SDL’s San Jose office were delighted to get into the gift giving spirit over the holiday season. San Jose colleagues partnered with the Family Giving Tree, a charity that provides holiday gifts to low income children, families and individuals in the local community. 
Some colleagues purchased gifts that were on a child’s wish list and six colleagues and one spouse volunteered their time for a three-hour shift to help sort and wrap holiday gifts the charity had collected during its holiday wish drive. In total the Family Giving Tree delivered over 70,000 gifts during the holiday season!

SDL Slovenia are little stars

anas_little_star
The Cerebral Palsy Association Slovenia (Sonček) became a beneficiary when SDL Slovenia answered its request for donations to help send children to a summer camp. The charity was so grateful for the donation that it even sent a nice thank you letter to colleagues. 
Another charity SDL Slovenia has supported is The Slovenia Association of Friends of Youth (ZPMS). Since 2013, SDL’s Slovenia colleagues have bought 20 wall calendars a year from ZPMS enabling the charity to buy underprivileged children and their families school supplies, clothing, food and to raise funds to help the families with their bills.
Always looking for a way to help those less fortunate than themselves, SDL Slovenia colleagues also help charities in other ways; such as the time one colleague, Slobodan Lukić asked the office to donate $5 to Ana’s Little Star instead of buying a birthday gift. Ana’s Little Star collects and provides food to families or individuals who have lost their jobs and cannot afford to buy food regularly so all the donations were very gratefully received.

Helping out with a spot of hiking!

FranceEndeavoursWhen Mathilde Bouvier, a translator in our France office, was granted two days leave to participate in charity work for an organisation that works with disabled people, she leapt at the chance.
During her two days, Mathilde took part in a hiking trip, in which she helped to pull the ‘joëlettes’, specially equipped all-terrain wheelchairs, up the hill and assisted when people needed a hand. Mathilde also worked in the kitchen, gave support to people in need of bathroom facilities, and even helped out with a spot of speleology – caving! With the support of a local speleology club, Mathilde helped disabled participants through caves.
All participants took part in the outdoor activities, with abled-bodied participants helping the less able whenever needed.

Sticking with tradition

banhchungTwelve of our Vietnam colleagues worked for half a day recently to make traditional sticky rice cakes (Bánh chưng) for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tết). The event was run by a charity that makes the cakes for families who can’t afford to buy them. Bánh chưng are made traditionally from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork and other ingredients, and eating them on the occasion of Tết is a Vietnamese tradition.

The icing on the cake

Bakesale_smallA huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Bake Sale organised to raise money for the BBC’s Comic Relief. The annual ‘Red Nose Day’ charity raises money to help transform the lives of millions of people in the UK and across Africa. The target at SDL’s Maidenhead office was to raise £250, but thanks to such delicious home made delights as Clementine Tissier’s Banana and Almond cake (voted the overall winner on the day!), the actual amount raised was £300. As a testament to how good the cakes were, every single cake made was sold out.

Providing food and shelter, love and support

bangaloreshelterSDL Bangalore colleagues were delighted recently to donate money they had raised to Swanthana, a charitable organisation that cares for girls with mental and physical disabilities aged between nine months and 15 years. Colleagues donated 35,000 Indian Rupees (£364/ €500/ US$550) to the charity that’s run by the Daughters of St. Camillus. The children were all brought to be cared at the home after being found abandoned at railway stations, bus stops, on the road side and even in dustbins. As well as providing food and shelter, Swanthana cares for the girls’ medical and education needs as well as doing everything it can to make sure they have lots of attention, fun and love.

Spinning for Charity

spinninginquebecSDL Canada is undertaking a number of fund raising initiatives to raise money for its chosen charity of 2015, the Quebec Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Colleagues have a personal connection with the condition as a member of their team has Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes a build up of sticky mucus in the lungs. Fundraising started in December when colleagues held a ‘Secret Santa’ event, raising $350. On April 29th they took the opportunity to get rid of any extra calories gained over Christmas and the New Year by taking part in a Spinothon, a cycling spinning class organised by a member of staff. Keeping up with the fitness theme, a Patinothon skating activity is due to take place in July to raise more money for the Quebec Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Mark Lancaster's Bucks' to Barcelona

marksbikerideFrom 16th to 28th May, our very own CEO, Mark Lancaster, embarked on a 1,000 mile cycle ride from his home in Buckinghamshire (UK) to Barcelona (Spain). During the 13 day cycle Mark raised over £12,000, with SDL matching all employee donations.
Mark was truly staggered by the overwhelming support wishing him well on his journey and for the generous donations that will enable the SDL Foundation to continue to help improve the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.

SDL Cluj - Give & Gain Day 2015

GiveandGainDay_ClujSDL Cluj celebrated the fifth anniversary of the SDL Foundation with not one, but two charity initiatives.

The office took part in Romania’s ‘Give & Gain Day 2015’ programme, which celebrates the incredible power of employee volunteering and encourages businesses to find a local project which can benefit from the support of volunteers. Five colleagues helped clean the yard, plant ornamental trees, repair a pergola, and paint interior and exterior areas at an elderly care home in Cluj, called Fundatia pentru Ingrijirea Varstnicului – Cluj. The volunteers were happy to be able to help improve the elderly residents’ lives and were also delighted to speak with residents and hear some of their remarkable stories.


Helping to combat hunger in Chicago

SDLChicagoGreaterChicagoDepository_April2015SDL Chicago colleagues were delighted to participate in the fight against hunger by spending an afternoon recently helping at the Chicago Food Depository. 


The non-profit food distribution and training centre provides food for people in Chicago, with the ultimate intention of ending hunger in the city. Founded in 1979, the Chicago Food Depository has a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.


It also runs programmes for children and adults to try and address the root causes of hunger. More than 812,000 men, women and children (1 in 6 people in Cook County) rely on the Chicago Food Depository’s network each year, and last year the Food Depository distributed 67 million pounds of food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat – the equivalent of 154,000 meals every day! By giving up their free time for one afternoon to support the organisation, the SDL Chicago colleagues were able to help sort over 7,800lbs of food.


A Special Contribution

wakefield
Wakefield colleagues in North America volunteered their time recently to help a local nonprofit organisation that supports local families needing a low cost, safe option for after school care and summer camps. 
Twenty five members of the Wakefield team helped the Boys & Girls Club prepare for their summer camp session by doing some serious spring cleaning. Outdoors colleagues trimmed overgrown bushes, laid mulch and cleared rubbish from recreational areas. Indoors they cleaned and organised the Arts and Games rooms. SDL Wakefield IT colleagues also did a much needed clean up of the computer lab, something the lab’s manager was thrilled with!
Wakefield colleagues really enjoyed helping such a worthwhile organisation, and were especially proud to be told by the club’s manager that in all of her years of leading the club, no organisation had ever offered time as their contribution.

Creating a rainbow of inspiration

sanjoseunitedway

SDL San Jose colleagues repaired driveways and filled in murals at Cassell Elementary School recently when they participated in the United Way of Silicon Valley’s 2015 Day of Action. Colleagues spent three hours bringing ‘a rainbow of inspiration’ to the elementary school’s campus.  

The United Way’s work is focused on creating the building blocks for a good life and the charitable organisation helps children and young people in local communities achieve their potential through education programmes. 

In addition to helping the United Way, San Jose colleagues on another occasion supported a different charity, the Family Giving Tree, which works with social service agencies and schools in the San Francisco Bay Area to help children from low income families. 

Wilfried Rijsemus cycles 'Ride for the Roses'

Wilfried_Rijsemus_cyclerideWilfried Rijsemus, who works in our Amsterdam office, cycled in the ‘Ride for the Roses’ in support of a personal friend. Around 10,000 riders took part in the Tour de France style 100km cycle tour, which started from a large flower trading market.
During Easter this year, Wilfried’s best friend’s sister felt dizzy during a barbecue. She went to the doctor on May 6 and by July 6 she had died of cancer, leaving a husband and two small children.
“I guess many people have a story like that,” says Wilfried, “but this year I decided I would ride again in the Ride for the Roses with the support of as many sponsors as I could find. I toyed with forming an SDL team, but it was too short notice.
“I posted a ‘Will you sponsor me?’ form in the hall asking my SDL colleagues to help me raise money. I figured if I got €50 I’d be doing well. And then the real SDL magic happened. It was like watching a Las Vegas slot machine! Linda and Trix went by all the desks for me (bless their hearts), and including
contributions from my family I had the promise of a staggering €745 to donate to National Cancer Research.”

Contributing to the local community in Cluj

ClujEndeavoursTwo SDL Cluj colleagues, Alexandra Dumitrica and Raluca Tocmag, are on a mission to do what they can to help a primary school located in a local mountain village.
The school teaches children from surrounding areas, but a lack of teachers means classrooms are cramped with children of all ages being taught at the same time.
To help out, Alexandra and Raluca offered to teach mathematics and literacy to special needs children from broken homes who aren’t able to attend lessons at the school.
As part of a separate initiative, six other SDL Cluj colleagues volunteered to help a local organisation called ‘A Warm Meal’, which cooks meals for children, elderly people and the homeless.
A Warm Meal (O masa calda) was started in June 2013 by a group of professors and students at the Department of Political Science in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Today it prepares over 500 meals a week in three cities, each meal being served with fresh ingredients, meat and vegetables.

Ali Coldwell and Habitat for Humanity

ALihabitatforhumanitySheffield based DTP Analyst Ali Coldwell volunteered to help Habitat for Humanity build Eco houses in the Balkans. 

“I first heard about Habitat for Humanity via the SDL Foundation and was inspired by both SDL Cluj’s build in Romania last year and a friend’s build in Malawi. I didn’t know much about the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (in fact I struggled to find a guide book) but shortly after booking the trip it declared a state of emergency over the Refugee Crisis. I gladly combined my passions of culture, physical activity and social responsibility to work alongside local people building eco houses in the Balkans. Not only is the country home to the largest Roma community in Europe, one in three people are unemployed so most legal houses remain visibly unfinished"

Habitat for Humanity helps local would-be home owners through ‘sweat equity’ (each family must work 400 hours on site) and micro loans, offering a hand up rather than a hand out. 

Operation Christmas Child

OperationchildrenimageMaidenhead and Sheffield colleagues have taken part in Operation Christmas Child, the aim of which is to fill a shoebox with toys, sweets and hygiene items that are sent to underprivileged children across the world.
Angela Bicknell had been sending boxes for 10 years and wanted to get her Maidenhead colleagues involved. They were delighted to contribute and between them brought in 50 boxes.
Sheffield colleagues heard about the wonderful work being done in Maidenhead and Jenny Hughes and Jane Freeman rallied their colleagues encouraging them to bring in shoeboxes full of gifts – 77 boxes in total were collected by colleagues in Sheffield.
Operation Christmas Child, with the help of 500,000 volunteers like our Maidenhead and Sheffield SDL colleagues, is this year looking to collect enough boxes to send to 11 million children around the world.
Angela said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of SDL colleagues in both Maidenhead and Sheffield. It’s amazing that we will make 130 children smile this Christmas! I hope we continue to support this cause for many more Christmases to come.”

SDL goes Global with BeadforLife fundraiser

BeadforLifeeColleagues in Superior, Wakefield, Plano, Sheffield, Maidenhead, Stuttgart, Munich, Sweden and Cluj all carried out parties in their offices where they sold jewellery made out of recycled paper by the women in Uganda. 
Nicole from Stuttgart, said: “It was a great pleasure and fun to participate again in this year’s fundraiser for BeadforLife. We organised three bead sales to attract as many colleagues as possible, and we also had a BeadforLife Community Partner visit us to talk about the history and vision of BeadforLife.”
Ushi from Maidenhead, said: “It was great to take part knowing that our efforts will be supporting these entrepreneurial women in Uganda. All the products were beautiful, it’s astounding that they’re all handmade!”

There's no stopping our colleagues in Cluj!

WorkshopOur Cluj office colleagues are big supporters of charity initiatives, and this winter was no different as they held three events!
Three Cluj colleagues also prepared 36 presents as part of the Shoebox Romania project, which sends shoeboxes filled with goodies to underprivileged children across the country.
Last, but most certainly not least, SDL Cluj also raised €210 by holding a garage sale of items brought in by and sold to colleagues. Money raised was donated to help support victims of the tragedy at the Collective club in Bucharest.
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