Giving back to their community: a family affairApril 11, 2019
Eugenie Plamondon and Johanne Houle (2020 Robert-Bourassa), along with Eugenie’s husband, Patrick Delage, and sister, Renée Plamondon (St-Hyacinthe), volunteer over 160 hours a year for the Montérégie Scout District. Scouting helps young people aged 7 to 21 to develop socially, physically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.
Patrick, a Senior IT Business Analyst at the Data Lab, and Eugenie, Market Data Analyst, Intact Investment Management, tell us that the main reason they volunteered was to help their son:
‘‘It was about family, at first. My son has autism spectrum disorder. We put him in hockey and soccer, even day camps, but none of those activities supported his development—it was all about performance. I decided to lead his Beavers group (ages 7 and 8) and after that, I was hooked,” says Patrick.
‘‘I wanted to see how being in a group with other kids and leaders would help my son develop socially," says Eugenie. "We’d already had some challenges with other activities he was enrolled in, so I started by being the camp cook. I could witness his successes (often without his knowing I was watching) and quietly encourage him when he experienced setbacks. I started attending weekly meetings, and eventually became a leader myself."
Renée Plamondon, Business Analyst, Investment Technologies, Intact Investment Management, wanted to support her sister and brother-in-law, so she offered her accounting knowledge and experience to the group: ‘‘They needed to make a management change, and having an outsider was a major asset. I didn’t really know what to expect at first, but I quickly embraced the Scouting principles and values, which are very similar to Intact’s. I’ve been the group’s treasurer for over four years now.”
Johanne Houle, Executive Assistant, Risk Management, first got involved with Scouts almost 20 years ago as part of a fundraising campaign for her daughter’s group.
No matter what their main reason for volunteering was, Johanne, Eugenie, Patrick and Renée quickly realized the enormous benefits—not just for their family, but also personally and professionally.
‘‘I discovered that Scouting and working with young people could be as rewarding as parenting or supporting my son,” says Patrick.
Our colleagues also realized that Intact’s Community Impact program could maximize their contribution to the organization—a contribution that’s reflected in Intact’s annual $2,000 donation.
‘‘Community Impact helps us to ease the financial burden parents face, when needed. It also allows the group to organize activities for all the units and management. It only takes a few hours’ volunteering in a year to generate a matching financial contribution to the organization you work with!” says Renée.
All the activities our colleagues are involved in reflect the Scout District’s various services and needs. They’ve all contributed their time, skills, passion and experience to help meet those needs, which support their family and also helps to nurture the next generation.
It’s important to support causes we care about and give back wherever possible. Our community involvement can make a huge difference—not just for ourselves, but for others, too.
“If it’s something that interests you, if you want to put a genuine smile on the faces of people who will appreciate your help, then you should go ahead and do it! Look into opportunities available in your community; there are definitely organizations that need volunteers. Pick one that’s a good fit for you and go for it!’’ says Johanne.