Here at Suncor, we know that getting involved in our communities is a year-round thing. Every day, we have scores of employees who step forward, give back and do some good – and this is after they leave the offices and worksites across our company.
Suncor supports these efforts through the SunCares Volunteering Grant which provides $750 to organizations where employees volunteer more than 48 hours a year.
For example, James McLean, from our Refining and Marketing team, has been putting energy into making his community better for many years. The 11-year Suncor employee – and tireless volunteer – is responsible for bringing pet therapy education to his local library.
“When I first started volunteering, I wanted to get my wife and dogs involved,” says James, who has a pair of whippets. So naturally he was intrigued by a Utah program that enlists pets to create a supportive environment in which children from disadvantaged backgrounds learn to read. “Dogs are a nonjudgmental audience.”
With the Mississauga Public Library on-board, James trained his dogs and, every Saturday for more than two years, he and his wife, along with their canines, would plop down a dog bed amid the shelves of books. Kids, naturally, would follow.
“At first, the kids were curious but quite timid,” James says. Then after some interaction, “they quickly snuggled up with both dogs, while reading to them.”
After two and a half years, however, his dogs, growing old, retired. And so did James – at least from the pet therapy program. Now as a volunteer for the library’s home-bound delivery initiative, he brings books to people who, whether because of age or disability, can’t travel themselves.
“It’s hugely rewarding to make a difference in people’s lives,” he says.
That Suncor supports his volunteer efforts, he adds, is “fantastic. When I tell people what my employer does, they can’t believe it.”