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Giving that gives back

Published on  27 December by Amber Harrison , Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, SITA
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We understand the importance of community – after all, supporting the air transport industry is at the heart of who we are. But community means much more to us too. It’s about the people and causes that matter in the 125+ locations around the world where our people are based.

That’s one of the reasons why we have an initiative called SITA VIVA – Value in Volunteer Action – which gives our employees an opportunity to connect with and give back to their community.

Paid volunteering day for SITA employees

As individuals we have an amazing opportunity to make a positive impact when we take time to get involved. And at SITA, we give our employees that time. Each year every employee can take a paid volunteering day to get involved in community projects of their choice. Projects that impact the environment, society, education and more. 

In 2018, SITA volunteers clocked up hundreds of hours as they took part in activities that saw them run, cycle, Zumba, paint, plant and cook to raise funds for various local charities. They also got 'hands on' working in foodbanks, cleaning up conservation sites or supporting community projects.

Endless ways to give – some examples

There are endless ways to give back to the community. Of the hundreds of SITA local initiatives, here are just a few examples of giving back, showing it is as rich an experience for the “giver” as it is for the receiver.

Tina Bradbury at the Hillingdon FoodbankRecently an 11-strong team from our three SITA locations in and around London took a volunteer day to pack and sort donations at the Hillingdon Foodbank warehouse. The foodbank provides short-term and emergency food to local families going through difficult times and crises. Tina Bradbury, one of the volunteers shared with me that: “The VIVA day to me is a day to show love to someone I would probably never meet but I gain satisfaction in the fact that he/she will have a smile on their face.”

Rodica Crasnic from SITA Montreal explained: “It is never easy to decide what causes to support, as although I am living in a highly industrialized country such as Canada, help is needed here too. I am grateful for working with some very enthusiastic and giving colleagues at SITA Montreal who make the VIVA events meaningful and fun.”

 

Rodica CrasnicRodica and the VIVA Montreal team have been busy throughout the year, starting their community contributions in February by donating money to the Prostate Cancer Foundation ($775), which they raised by selling waffles and bow ties in the office. 

In April, they celebrated Earth Day by helping tidy a local community garden – Jardin Versailles in the heart of downtown Montreal – to make it ready for cultivating vegetables and flowers through the summer.

Later in August the team in Montreal visited "Share The Warmth", an organization that supports under-privileged children with school supplies. Besides handing over what our colleagues generously donated, the volunteers also spent half a day helping sort the supplies for schools.

They will end the year with a food sorting event for food baskets for Montreal families in need.

In Letterkenny, Ireland, we have a highly motivated group of employees who invest a lot of time and energy into their community. This year they have raised over €7100 for the Pieta House suicide prevention charity, two local Autism Groups, the Bone Marrow for Leukemia Trust, and Our Lady’s Hospital for sick Children, Dublin. They have also held a toy collection which delivered much needed toys to seven different “Mother & Toddler” groups across Donegal. And every year they hold a Christmas Food Collection for the local St. Vincent de Paul group which helps families who are struggling. Martin Sheridan, chairman of the SITA Letterkenny CSR Group explained that “CSR within an organization like SITA not only benefits the groups we support but also develops relationships within the community, develops relationships among employees within the locations, and can also can be used to develop relationships within the wider SITA family.”

Martin Sheridan (far right)

Putting our SITA Values in action is at the heart of what we do. Thank you everyone for the positive impact you are having on your local community.

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