Volunteerism has long been a part of how Suncor employees contribute to their communities. Last year alone, Suncor employees volunteered more than 18,800 hours across Canada and the U.S. To recognize the remarkable contribution our employees make in their communities, the Suncor Energy Foundation launched the SunCares Changemakers program in early 2019.
Changemakers are employees who go above and beyond in their communities volunteering their expertise, personal time and financial contributions in a meaningful way throughout the year. Annually, five SunCares Changemakers will be selected to direct a one-time gift of $20,000 from Suncor or the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) to a community organization of their choice.
“We were so impressed with the quality and number of nominations received in 2019,” says Eric Axford, Suncor’s EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer, and SEF Board chair. “It underscores the deep commitment Suncor employees have to their communities and to making a difference in the world. I’m truly inspired and humbled by each of these Changemakers, and incredibly proud to recognize their accomplishments on behalf of SEF and Suncor.”
Read the stories of the inaugural SunCares Changemakers below.
Peter (right) sorts food hampers and delivers them to families in need on a regular basis.
Peter Duff, team leader, corporate HR and refinery applications, sits on the executive board of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) Saint Teresa’s Conference, as director of membership. He delivers food hampers on a regular basis and has spearheaded Seeds of Hope, a new program that provides support to low-income families in his community.
“Being a SunCares Changemaker is looking into our communities and seeing a need; then taking action and making changes to see that need fulfilled,” says Peter.
Peter will be directing $10,000 to the SSVP and $10,000 to Iris Kirby House, a shelter for women and children.
Sandy (standing) supports the weekly Catch the Ace fundraiser at the Sarnia’s Legion.
Sandy Whyte, specialist procurement, serves on the Royal Canadian Legion Sarnia Branch 62 board and was fundamental in developing and supporting the Legion’s weekly “Catch the Ace” fundraiser. This fundraiser attracts many community members and has donated almost $100,000 to a number of local organizations.
“The Legion is about community; it makes for a better, stronger community when volunteers support initiatives they’re passionate about,” says Sandy.
The $20,000 donation to the Legion will support many community organizations and initiatives.
D’Andre (front row, middle) shows off the solar oven built with Suncor summer students as part of BrainSTEM Alliance’s environmental science program.
D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika, process engineer, wanted to bring more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities to youth in the Fort McMurray area, so she started her own non-profit organization to do just that.
“BrainSTEM Alliance was a simple idea, but it turned into an organization that is continuing to grow,” says D’Andre.
Her organization works to develop STEM programs for community organizations and educate youth on why STEM is important. With $20,000, D’Andre hopes BrainSTEM Alliance can expand to other industry based towns like Fort McMurray and inspire other innovative community programs.
James (left) makes life-long friendships with the people he meets volunteering at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank.
James McLean, director, national pricing, volunteers with a number of organizations. He delivers library materials to people with mobility restrictions as part of the Mississauga Library Homebound program and makes sure everyone has access to healthy food through the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank.
“Making a difference in people’s and animals’ lives through the organizations I support is hugely rewarding,” he says.
James will be directing $7,500 each to the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank and Animal Justice, $2,000 each to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary and the United Way of Toronto and $1,000 to the Mississauga Library.
Hsiu-Yan (front middle) and other Inn from the Cold volunteers help homeless families gain independence.
Hsiu-Yan Chan, manager, natural gas liquids, is the board chair for Inn from the Cold, an organization that does much more than provide emergency shelter. Staying at an emergency shelter can be traumatic and Hsiu-Yan has been a huge driver of the organization’s focus on building housing and exit plans for families to gain independence.
“This support will help provide shelter, sanctuary and healing for homeless families, which contributes to a safer and kinder community for all," she says.
The $20,000 Hsiu-Yan is directing to Inn from the Cold will support the housing focused model and help more families receive their first set of keys to a long-term supportive housing unit.