Article summary: At PETA, we like to get involved and raise money for worthy causes, both in the local area and those further afield, in order to give a little something back to the community and to those who need our support.
In recent years, more and more staff members have been getting involved in charity initiatives of various kinds, raising money for a range of different causes. So when PETA’s Health & Safety Administrator, Sharon Jenkins, suggested setting up a Charity Focus Group, the idea was met with enthusiasm from many.
Sharon said: “I’ve always enjoyed running charity fundraising events and awareness days in my previous roles so really wanted to bring this to employees at PETA. Getting everyone involved and seeing what a huge difference we make to people’s lives is a real buzz. We have helped so many charities this year and in 2023 we’ll strive to make some more differences, especially to some of the less known charities that are sometimes overlooked.”
Over the past few months, members of the Focus Group have signed PETA up for several charity initiatives, with various members of staff contributing. The campaigns have been led by Sharon and GFT Contracts & Claims Manager, Kim Clough.
Kim said: “Running charity events and fundraising builds a sense of community; it brings people together for a greater purpose, while helping support charities with the important work that they do. I’ve been volunteering for Pawprints to Freedom (dog rescue) outside of work for a time now, so when the idea came up to put together a Charity Focus Group at PETA I was very excited. There are a number of ways that people can show their support without necessarily giving money, even raising awareness can make a huge difference. We are very grateful for all the support we are receiving.”
Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal
We decided to take part in the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal this year and invited staff to put together shoeboxes full of gifts and items that would be of use and put a smile on the face of children in need. We dropped off 17 shoeboxes at Motorpoint Hilsea at the end of November and our donations were greatly received.
Samaritan’s Purse UK is an international relief and development organisation that works through local churches to demonstrate the love of God amongst communities in need (in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia) across the world.
Samaritan’s Purse has been running the Operation Christmas Child initiative since 1990, when a local businessman in Wrexham, Dave Cooke, and his wife Jill felt called to do something in response to the plight of Romanian orphans at the end of the Cold War.
Dave’s sister Jan, came up with the concept of the shoebox gift as a form of easily transportable ‘Christmas stocking’ to give hope to children in the toughest of circumstances.
The community responded generously to this volunteer-led initiative filling seven lorries for Romania, which included just under 3,000 shoebox gifts. Since then shoeboxes have been directed to various locations around the world that are in conflict or experiencing severe hardship.
This year’s appeal is for children in war-torn Ukraine. The shoeboxes, which contain a range of items including small toys, hygiene items, stationery and small clothing items such as hats, gloves, scarves and socks.
Cash for Kids Mission Christmas
This year we decided to sign up to be a Mission Christmas donation drop-off point. Mission Christmas invites people to donate a new and unwrapped gift to one of the drop-off points, donate cash or gifts online or get involved with some fundraising.
We became a drop-off point on 9 November and over the past five weeks, we’ve received hundreds of donations. There were many external donations, plus approximately 40 from PETA staff and a large number from Havant-based marine company, Lewmar, which is the workplace of one of our CMI course delegates.
The Cash for Kids Mission Christmas was created to help Santa reach children living in poverty. This fantastic initiative means that a child who's at risk of waking up to nothing on Christmas Day will have something to open.
Cash for Kids supports children and young people affected by poverty, abuse, neglect, life-limiting illness and those who have additional needs. Based across 22 areas in the UK, at the heart of local radio stations, they are a grant-giving charity helping community groups, other charitable organisations, schools and individual causes.
They work with grass-roots organisations that aim to make a difference to young lives, directly supporting families who often have nowhere else to go. Collectively, Cash for Kids raised £21.4 million across the UK in 2021, supporting 548,102 children.
Christmas Jumper Day
This year we bent the rules of the Christmas Jumper Day a little by encouraging all staff to participate in it on our annual team building day on the 16 December. It was thought that more staff would take part in the festive day if we encouraged participation as part of the team day.
We’re pleased to have raised £187 for Save the Children. All staff attended the company-wide team day which included business briefings, a team building activity called ‘Wall Street Winners’, a Christmas lunch and employee long service awards.
Christmas Jumper Day is Save the Children's annual event which raises money for children in the UK and across the world. Save the Children is a charity that makes sure children keep safe, healthy and learning. They believe in a world where every child has a chance of the future they deserve and they’ve helped 45 million children across the world get the medicine, good food and education they need.
Kim added: “In addition to the above, we also did Macmillan’s Biggest Coffee Morning, which raised over £335 and a dog collar/lead/coat collection for Pawprints to Freedom, with all items going to a Romanian shelter. Alongside this, we collect milk bottle tops and stamps which will also be sent to various charities. Sharon and I will get together early in the new year to schedule the planned projects for 2023!”
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