CEO Blog - The importance of giving back in business
They say that charity begins at home ….and for Vita Group, it was at the home of one of our team members back in 2011, during the Brisbane floods. Like most other businesses, our peeps weren’t spared from the havoc and destruction that Mother Nature can sometimes cause.
One of the guys in our support centre was in real trouble. His family house had been flooded. It was devastating for him. So, we all pitched in. Twenty of us from Vita went to his house and got down to it – throwing out what was damaged, scrubbing the house, and helping to make it liveable again.Then, we established a fund where all Vita peeps could donate to the flood victims, with Vita pledging to match their donations. We ended up donating $20,000 across all our team members who had been severely impacted by the floods.
To be honest, I’m not sure who got more out of it, those who were affected, or those who lent a hand. It was incredible to see how giving our peeps a chance to give back, motivated and brought everyone together.
That’s really where I trace the beginnings of the Vita Foundation back to. Now in its third year, the Vita Foundation has been a force for good, helping countless community groups and charities in need. To date, we have donated more than $700,000 to hundreds of charities and ‘profit-for-purpose’ groups, which is an absolutely fantastic achievement.
A great example of how we’ve given back is our work with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, which holds a particularly special place in our hearts after they saved the lives of our Group Company Secretary, Mark Anning, and his young sons, Joe and Henry. You can watch the incredible rescue here. If you don’t shed a tear at this, you’re not paying attention.
The Vita Foundation goes to the very heart and soul of what we do at Vita, which ultimately is to add value to people’s way of life. This is most evident through our hero charity, Act for Kids, where through countless fundraising campaigns and initiatives, we’ve helped them to take their ‘Learn to be Safe with Emmy and Friends’ program national, helping more than 19,000 kids to be better equipped to know when they don’t feel safe. Learn more.
Now, as we look set to reach a landmark $1 million in donations this financial year, we remain absolutely committed to giving back to our communities and to helping make a difference, both through creating pathways for our team members to give back, and by giving one per cent of Vita’s net profit after tax to the Vita Foundation to donate to community groups and charities in need, each and every financial year.
In my opinion, giving back should be a key pillar to every business’s strategy, both in good times and bad, and not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s a great way to empower your people. I continue to be amazed by how generous and proactive our team members are when it comes to supporting causes close to their heart. And, to me, that’s just as fulfilling as lending a hand to those who need it most.
As we say at the Vita Foundation – It Just takes One!Check out more on the Vita Foundation here.
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