It’s National Volunteer Week in Canada, and this year’s theme is the value of one, the power of many, which recognizes the overall impact of simple actions.
Across Suncor, employees have brought this concept to life by going above and beyond for their community, volunteering, and making financial contributions.
For their efforts, each year, five employees are recognized as SunCares Changemakers through a nomination process. Each SunCares Changemaker gets to identify a community organization of their choice to receive a one-time donation of $20,000 from Suncor or the Suncor Energy Foundation.
In its third year, the SunCares Changemakers program brought in many nominations from across Suncor. A member of this year’s selection committee says the team had a tall order in narrowing the field down to just five recipients.
“I can’t remember how many times I said ‘wow’ during the process,” says Erin Harde, Senior Advisor, Employee and Leader Communications at Suncor. “I’m in awe of my co-workers who do so much for others in their community. Their level of commitment and impact is so inspiring and motivating, and truly demonstrates Suncor’s purpose of caring for each other and the earth.”
Below are this year’s Changemakers:
Adedoyin Osuntogun, Fort McMurray
How Adedoyin’s donation will be used: $15,000 to Rehoboth Alliance and $5,000 to the Nigerian-Canadian Association of Fort McMurray
Adedoyin is a long-range planning analyst at Suncor’s Base Plant in northern Alberta and a founding member of the Rehoboth Alliance and BrainSTEM Alliances’s joint initiative, and the Youth Black Inventors STEM Mentorship Program. She is currently working with BrainSTEM Alliance and Careers Next Gen on a summer internship program and is planning a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career week workshop for female youth in partnership with Careers Next Gen. She has also forged a mentorship relationship between Suncor and Girls Inc.
Pamela Alkier, Calgary
How Pamela’s donation will be used: $20,000 to the Calgary Quest Children’s Society
Pamela, a case management advisor in Operations Services at Suncor, is Vice Chair of the Board and volunteers for the Calgary Quest Children’s Society. The organization supports students and young adults with cross-disabilities and their families to deliver the best outcomes in their social, emotional and educational journeys. Pamela supports the organization in many ways, including fundraising activities. Through her efforts, the school has remained open during the pandemic, their website has been kept updated, and more students have received services to help them reach their full potential. These outcomes result in reduced stress, worry and anxiety that every caregiver inevitably faces when trying to find the right educational and community fit for their child with a disability.
Mitchel Bowers, Fort McMurray
How Mitchel’s donation will be used: $20,000 to Pride YMM
Mitchel, a procurement coordinator at Suncor, dedicates their time to making safer, more inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ2S+ and BIPOC community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). They are on the board for the Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equality (RACIDE), the Arts Council Wood Buffalo and Pride YMM. Because of their work, the RMWB has completed internal audits to address racism in the workplace, changed policies for reporting and handling discrimination, and the mayor and council have asked the Government of Alberta to change the education curriculum to teach more inclusive history. Mitchel has created initiatives to teach children about inclusion, and has worked with gay-straight alliances (GSAs) to enhance personal well-being, mental health and connectedness amongst LGBTQ2S+ youth.
Kashif Hussain, Fort McMurray
How Kashif’s donation will be used: $7,500 to the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association, $7,500 to The Citizens Foundation Canada, and $5,000 to the Markaz-Ul-Islam Congregation of Fort McMurray
Kashif, a quality advisor for Suncor’s Operations Services function, is an active board member and volunteer for a variety of organizations in Fort McMurray and encourages youth to get involved in their community. He has led multiple fundraising initiatives for the Canadian Cancer Society, Sick Kids Foundation and Human Concern International, volunteered with the Spelling Bee of Canada Wood Buffalo chapter, and was a board member of Markaz-ul-Islam, where he promoted stronger unity, understanding of strength and spreads cheer and love in the community. Kashif is also working to produce the first virtual event that inspires youth in science and technology for the Wood Buffalo Youth Science Foundation.
Leslie Gordon, Mississauga
How Leslie’s donation will be used: $20,000 to Fort York Food Bank
Leslie is category portfolio manager in our Mississauga office and a board member for the Fort York Food Bank (FYFB). She developed a communication strategy that helped FYFB double its social media presence and achieve a record-breaking fundraising year in 2020, along with other helpful communication tools. Leslie uses her influence to bring attention to food insecurity and has spoken about the challenges on the leadership panel for the Star Women in Convenience Award Gala for which she was also a recipient. Leslie also nurtures student development at Ryerson University by volunteering annually on a panel of judges to provide feedback on student’s capstone projects with leading industry insight.
Please join us in celebrating these outstanding folks and the impact they continue to have on their communities.