Giving Tuesday is a worldwide initiative that unites diverse groups of individuals, communities and organisations for one common purpose: to celebrate giving and motivate them to make a difference to a charity of their choice. Over 2000 organisations all over the world are getting involved in some shape or form, with 1 in 10 people making a difference to a cause!
This year, we wanted to raise awareness for a range of charities through the #UNselfie campaign, it gave Givergy employees the opportunity to reminisce about their volunteering experiences, help dilute our selfie obsessed society but most importantly encourage giving.
Our offices across the world (UK, US, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong) got involved, take a look at #OurGivingStories below, we hope they inspire you to make a difference too!
“This year, I went to Calais to volunteer for the Refugee Community Kitchen, an organisation run solely by volunteers, that has provided 2,500 nourishing, hot meals to refugees every day in Northern France since 2015. I wanted to volunteer having learnt about the hardship faced by thousands of refugees across Europe as they lack basic facilities and have to deal with continuous challenges of camp demolitions, police brutality and harsh environmental conditions. I worked in the kitchens preparing fresh food, washing up and then travelling to distribution points to serve the hot meals to the refugees. I met some of the most inspiring and generous people from all over the world. The atmosphere in the kitchens was very uplifting and the food was so delicious, exotic and wholesome! It was a truly unforgettable experience and I plan to return as soon as possible! In the meantime, I have been trying to raise funds and awareness for the charity by taking part in sponsored activities, such as the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon in the Lake District.”
Megan Isherwood, Account Executive – UK
“I’ve recently been volunteering at the weekly farmer’s market run by The Stop Community Food Centre, helping visitors navigate the 40+ local vendors and answering questions about the organization. I love supporting The Stop because they focus on systemic change and on the empowerment of cooks, gardeners, and engaged citizens in the community rather than passive recipients of food charity. I also have had the pleasure of working on two of The Stop’s signature events (What’s On The Table and Big Night at the Green Barn), to offer support on using Givergy’s fundraising technology to maximize revenue. ”
Lauren Tuck, Senior Manager Fundraising & Accounts – Canada
“The Givergy Australia office, as a team, took part in a challenge to raise money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. The goal was to walk 10,000 steps a day for 28 days throughout September, and to make things a little more complicated we pitted the boys against the girls – 4v4. Whilst we all went in to the challenge thinking it wouldn’t be too hard, we soon realised that we needed to make a number of changes to our daily routine to ensure we hit our targets. Some things we did to help reach our goals included, getting off the bus a stop or two earlier, going for a 30 minute walk at lunch, or even walking to and from work. The race was close and the final days saw some team members hitting 20,000 steps per day, but in the end the Girls took the glory. The most important thing was that between the team we managed to raised just shy of $2,000 for the cause.”
Givergy Australia Team
“My wife and I recently volunteered at the local council’s homeless dog shelter. The shelter houses over 50 dogs but only a few people work there, so the dogs aren't taken out for regular walks or given the attention they need. As volunteers, we played with the dogs so they had the opportunity to enjoy human interaction and then took them on multiple walks around the fields. We also donated food and warm clothing in a bid to ensure the animals have a comfortable winter.”
Simeon Georgiev, Graphic Designer - UK
“I helped to teach Muay Thai and boxing to children and youths in the North Point district of Hong Kong. We opened up the gym for free on Saturday and Sunday mornings until early afternoon, giving young people the opportunity to learn the basics of Muay Thai and boxing. The aim was to keep young people active and teach them the fundamentals of sports. Personally, I think it helped the children gain a sense of community, with the gym becoming a small family of its own.”
Timothy To, Business Development Manager – Hong Kong
“Last year, I decided to take on the highly talked about (and feared) Tough Mudder! I decided to do this in order to raise money for a fantastic charity called Action for A-T. During the lead up, I trained 3 times a week in order to prepare. However, nothing could quite prepare you for the challenge on the day! Most people thought I was mad taking on such an extreme challenge but once I completed it, I felt a huge sense of achievement and very proud of myself. In total, I managed to raise £1,400, with all proceeds going towards research as there is currently no known cure. I would highly recommend finding a challenge that enables you to make a difference to any charity of your choice!”
Katie Gass, Event Delivery Manager – UK
“I became president of the newly formed South West Sydney branch of Make a Wish Australia, which involves taking responsibility of all fundraising activities and spending time helping to grant wishes to seriously ill children. I was also honoured to be voted a Westfield Local Hero and received an amazing $10,000 grant for Make-A-Wish to help us fund 4 wishes in the local area. This year, we ran our first volunteer organised Wish Wonderland fundraising gala in Sydney and raised over $100k! As Team Leader of the event, it was incredible to see so many people rally together to grant more life changing wishes for kids. Thanks to the amazing support of our sponsors and volunteers, we're now gearing up for 2019!”
Jackie Lee, Event & Staffing Manager – Australia
“I raised £1000 in aid of Enactus by participating in the University Jailbreak Challenge. We had 36 hours to get as far away from Lancaster University as possible without spending any money on transport. By 4am we were shivering in the rain on the curb of a service station just off Bedford. A sorry sight. It was at this point we began to appreciate the mission of Enactus, understanding the long-lasting challenges social innovators and entrepreneurs face. When plans do not work, it is vital to persist for a positive difference to be made. Eventually, after 36 gruelling hours we made it to Cherbourg, France! I hope Enactus continues to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in innovative ways to keep improving the society we live in.”
Leo Crowe, Business Development Executive – UK
“I have volunteered at the GOSH Christmas party a couple of times and it’s one of my favourite events. It always helps to get you in the Christmas mood, but it’s also a rewarding and amazing charity to volunteer for. The children that attend the Christmas parties and all of their other patient parties make all of the work completely worth it.”
Emily Clare, Fundraising & Events Manager - US
“I became a student fundraiser for Childreach International, raising over £2,500 for their cause through various events like coffee mornings, raffles, a university ‘Take Me Out’ event and other fundraisers. In addition, I participated in a 2-week redevelopment project in a rural Nepalese village rebuilding the foundations of a community centre that had been destroyed as a result of an earthquake in the area.”
Lily Freake, Business Development Executive - UK
“I took part in the Action SPRINT Trail Series 12km race in Discovery Bay. The race pushes the participants over mountains, through rivers and across a beach. I did the race with a group of my friends and it was an amazing experience helping each other through all the obstacles and making it across the finish line together. Not only was the race a fantastic experience, but knowing that all proceeds for the race went to the Action Asia Foundation was great too. The Foundation’s amazing achievements so far include, funding day-care and health facilities in Nepal, and organizing kayaking, climbing and other outdoor activities for handicapped and underprivileged youth in Hong Kong.”
Peet Rademeyer, Head of Tech & Logistics – Hong Kong
“This year, the Vancouver team attended a volunteer day at Ocean Wise’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Ocean Wise are one of our clients that we support in raising more and is a not-for-profit programme that works towards healthy and flourishing oceans. This day was focused on fundraising for the Centre where marine mammals including seals, sea lions, sea otters and sea turtles, are rescued, rehabilitated and eventually released. We toured the facilities to learn about the patients and the threats they face, it was full of juvenile Harbour Seals going through the rehabilitation process. These animals were rescued either due to injury (e.g. gunshot wounds from fishermen, fishing line wounds) or being found in areas with too much human activity and as a result were abandoned by their mothers. The staff always observe the distressed animal for a period of time to ensure it has actually been abandoned and needs assistance to survive. Many of the new patients were malnourished and would have died if they weren’t rescued. It was extremely inspiring to participate and understand more about the centre and how staff and volunteers work tirelessly to promote the health and release process of these animals. A few of our Givergy team continue to support these initiatives by symbolically adopting Harbour Seal patients and donating to the centre.”
Givergy Canada Vancouver Team
Wherever you are in the world, we hope you have a successful #GivingTuesday raising more for a cause of your choice.
If you’d like information on how to create your own #UNselfie campaign to help maximise donations, please get in touch!