Why I volunteer: Employees explain why they help their communities

Date April 20, 2021

National Volunteer Week runs from April 18-24 in Canada and the United States. This week, we’re celebrating our hard-working volunteers across the company who generously give their time to the causes that matter most to them.

Generosity — helping others, protecting the environment and making our communities more resilient — is one of the Values that guides our work and volunteering is one of the ways our employees share their generosity.

Even in the face of a pandemic, employees across Canada found ways to volunteer to help our communities in 2020. The Intact Foundation matched employees’ charitable donations and volunteer hours for a total donation of $880,000 to the causes that matter most to them.

Some of our employees who each volunteered more than 50 hours last year share why they volunteer and the causes that matter most to them.

Shima Heidari
Legal Counsel, Intact Insurance

Where I volunteer: Canadian Safe School Network , which helps communities find solutions for today's youth safety and inclusion needs, and Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry, which aims to serve meals to the hungry like family, with warmth and dignity.

Why I volunteer: Volunteering is a priceless opportunity to be kind. I am the happiest when I give more than I get. Committing to serve and lift others has helped me find myself. When I volunteer, I work towards the kind of community I want to live in.

Krista Turpin
Unit Manager Claims Support,
St. John’s

Where I volunteer: Breakfast Club of Canada and the United Way/Generosity in Action Campaign

Why I volunteer: I truly feel that everyone deserves kindness and it can be given in so many ways. Some people need food and shelter, some people need a friend to chat with and some people need a break from their every day. I get the greatest joy by seeing someone smile and by sharing what I have with them.

Tim Leal
Underwriting Assistant, Personal Lines

Where I volunteer: The SHARP Foundation, which provides a continuum of care to people living with HIV.

Why I volunteer: I started volunteering after a close friend of mine passed away from HIV. I love to see the happy smiles on the clients’ faces when they know I am coming over to play games, talk, garden or go on day trips – like to the Calgary Stampede or a BBQ in the park.

Tami Koehle
IT BA Specialist, Claims Software Engineering

Where I volunteer: Newf Friends Newfoundland Dog Rescue, a foster home based-rescue group for Newfoundland Dogs.

Why I volunteer: I love being able to help dogs in need find their forever homes. I also enjoy helping people who currently own Newfoundland dogs work through any behavioural issues they may be experiencing to prevent the need to surrender their dog.

Mahsa Abbas Zadeh
Manager, ITAM, Expense & Vendor Management
Anjou, QC

Where I volunteer: Say Ça, which helps newcomer youth in Montreal, and Compagnons Maraichers, where volunteers from the city help farmers in surrounding areas.

Why I volunteer: For me, volunteering is an opportunity to help build the society we want to live in. It’s a way to reinforce the values we care about: inclusion, community solidarity, sharing and diversity. Helping young newcomers settle into life here, and local organic agriculture: these are two things I’m passionate about.

Mike Lough
VP, Specialty Programs & Associations, Frank Cowan Company
Cambridge, ON

Where I volunteer: Hospice of Waterloo Region, which focuses on supporting and improving the quality of life for persons who are living with or dying from advanced illness.

Why I volunteer: I feel very fortunate in my life with a happy and healthy family, great friends and a great career where I get to work with some awesome people. I’m aware that there are others who aren’t as lucky. I selected Hospice of Waterloo as it is an excellent operation helping people through one of the toughest periods in anyone’s life.

Shanna Kinnear
Account Administrator, BrokerLink
Bedford, N.S.

Where I volunteer: CNIB Foundation, which empowers people impacted by blindness to live their dreams.

Why I volunteer: My daughter was born 16 weeks premature and is legally blind. She found a sport that she loves and that she was equal in playing, called Goalball. The Nova Scotia Jr. Women’s and Jr. Men’s teams are the Canadian Gold medal holders! It makes my heart happy to help others.

Social Impact at Intact

You can read more about how we helped our communities in 2020 in our Social Impact Report.

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