Corporate social responsibility or CSR is often just a buzz word that many companies throw around as they try to improve their brand image. The Canadian Edelman team, which includes offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto with close to 150 employees took to the streets and gave their time to a charity known as The Little Give. The annual corporate social responsibility initiative combined more than 4,000 hours of manpower with $37,500 in charitable donations to benefit 15 partner charities devoted to improving the lives of children and youth.
Edelman staff were divided into teams and had 48 hours to solve a challenge for their non-profit partner. Some of this year’s charity partners included a youth camp for children with physical disabilities in Toronto; an organization that provides medical, legal and social services to Montreal youth; and a music academy in Vancouver that gives local kids the chance to learn a variety of musical instruments.
“The Little Give helps us make giving back to our communities meaningful for our employees, through hands-on experiences that produce tangible results, while also building positive memories,” said Lisa Kimmel, General Manager of the Edelman Toronto office. “With this event, the competitive spirit comes out in all of us, making sure that we give back in a big way.”
In addition to the skills, talent and manpower of each team, all partner charities received $2,500 in seed money donated by Edelman Canada. Each team was tasked with leveraging both the corporate donation and their skills to the benefit of their partner organization.
“We were completely blown away by Edelman’s performance and dedication,” said Andrea Kasunic, Head of School and Intensive Behaviour Program, PALS Autism School in Vancouver. “It was truly a transformative experience for us to be part of this incredible initiative, feeling the energy from all the employee volunteers this weekend and making an impact where it counts – in the lives of children and youth.”
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To up the ante for staff, The Little Give in Toronto and Montreal was designed as a fun competition, with the projects completed by each team rated by an esteemed panel of judges. The winning teams succeeded in demonstrating how they leveraged Edelman’s cash contribution, brought attention to the non-profit’s mission and by showing how they made a difference in the everyday lives of children served by the organization.