Employee Giving: What drives our community to make an impact?

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Group of students walking on campus.

 

Through the Employee Giving program, current and retired members of our organization donate to 380 initiatives that support the student experience, scholarships, financial aid and research. Hundreds of students have directly benefitted from this support. 
What makes the program so successful? Volunteers across campus use a peer-to-peer approach to raise awareness about the initiatives, highlight impact stories and increase participation within their teams.  

Meet five volunteers who choose to donate their time to the Employee Giving program.  

A group of students and their professor.

Pierre Thibault, seventh from the top left. 

Pierre Thibault 
Assistant dean and secretary, Faculty of Law — Civil Law Section

“People working at the University of Ottawa are in a unique position to help students learn, develop and acquire the tools to blossom and contribute to society. We can help them make our world better. I think it’s our duty to do so.” 

Two women holding tea cups, they are wearing hats.

Alysse Weinberg, right.

Alysse Weinberg 
Associate professor, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute 

“Giving charity is a traditional and universal virtue. In the Jewish tradition, it is called a mitzvah, a religious obligation, and there are many Jewish stories attesting to the spiritual merit you gain giving charity.  In some way what goes around comes around, I have no regrets, and I encourage everybody to be generous with whatever charities they support.”

A man in front of a walkway.

 

Chris Hall 
Communications adviser, Communications Directorate  

“I volunteer because I know how hard life can be sometimes, and in my previous life, I lived it. I’ve been stranded on an island with no money and no food, stuck trying to hitchhike in the rain in a country where I didn’t speak the language, and countless other tricky situations in foreign lands. But in every case, the kindness of others, often times complete strangers, pulled me through and set me back on my path. Now it’s my turn to give back.”

A man sitting at a desk, there is an Ottawa Senators poster on the wall.

 

Steven Desjardins 
Assistant chair and assistant professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

“We simply would not have a university without the students – many of whom struggle to make ends meet, which makes it much harder for them to succeed at their studies and achieve their goals and dreams. Our job is to teach, inspire, mentor and motivate – but if the students are stressed, hungry or worried about paying the rent, they are at a disadvantage and may struggle to finish their programs successfully. ”

A woman in front of a wall.

 

Cynthia Soto Cancino 
Executive assistant, Office of the Vice-President, Research 

“Helping others is part of my values and is practically my life’s mission! Youth are our future, so helping youth at risk or with adjustment problems to succeed is something I care about. There are many opportunities to get involved at the University. In addition to the Employee Giving program, I volunteer for the Healthy and Active Campus, Service and Excellence and Ethics and Integrity committees.” 

The goal of the Employee Giving program is to enhance the experience and opportunities of uOttawa students.
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