Blog: Crowe MacKay Makes a Difference – National Volunteer WeekApril 8th, 2019
At Crowe MacKay we strongly support and encourage volunteerism throughout our firm. In the spirit of celebrating National Volunteer Week we want to showcase how our people are making a difference across Western and Northern Canada.
This year’s National Volunteer Week is April 7 – 13 and celebrates the theme: The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities.
Volunteer Alberta describes the theme as “celebrating and recognizing the exponential impact of volunteers and how they lift our communities … when people volunteer together, the sky is the limit.” As part of this theme, Volunteer Alberta is incorporating the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Canada and others are committed to achieving by 2030.
Crowe MacKay professionals truly live our values outside of the office and implement them in their every day lives. Read more on how they are leaving a lasting value in their communities.
Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports
Michael Bailey, a Staff Accountant in our Surrey office, volunteers with Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports (VASS). The organization’s main focus is to provide access and opportunity for those with disabilities to experience the mountains.
This was Michael’s first year volunteering and he coached those with autism how to ski. He volunteers with VASS as a way to give back and get involved in his community. Michael wants to help those who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to try something new and be part of an activity that friends and family can participate in together.
The organization touches on “Reduce Inequalities” as well as “Good Health and Well-Being” of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
CPABC North Shore/Sunshine Coast Chapter
Raji Dhaliwal, a Senior Accountant from our Vancouver office, volunteers with the CPABC North Shore/Sunshine Coast Chapter. He is a Board Member and has recently been elected to the Treasurer position for two years starting in May.
The Chapter’s mandate is to create a presence for the CPA profession, connecting members and students, and conducting a broad range of activities. Raji’s chapter organizes events and opportunities that focus on community involvement, professional development, networking, and mentorship.
Raji volunteers because he believes it’s his way of giving back to the profession and engaging with professionals and students.
The activities his chapter conducts helps to support “Decent Work and Economic Growth l Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” as well as “Quality Education” in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Justin Jones, a Manager from our Edmonton office, has had the privilege of volunteering with CAAWLS, an organization that takes fully certified therapy dogs to visit those with mental health challenges, such as anxiety.
Justin has always been a dog lover and understands the positive effects animals can have with mental challenges. He says “to be able to experience first-hand the joy of having a visit from our fully certified therapy dogs is something that is incredibly gratifying.” Justin is very happy that we are bringing about a culture that is reducing the stigma around mental health and starting conversations.
The organization helps to advance “Good Health and Well-Being” in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Ecole St. Patrick School
Jinal Shah, a Manager of Client Services from our Yellowknife office, volunteers with Ecole St. Patrick School. Over the past two and half years, she has been delivering financial literacy courses to students in grades nine to 12.
Financial literacy is taught in many other provinces with the exception of NWT. Jinal teaches students about budgeting, credit cards, debt management, earning income, and setting achievable financial goals.
The course ‘lifts the community’ by giving students the skills and knowledge to make informed choices. It is a tool they can use to improve their financial capacity.
Jinal’s volunteer work enables “Quality Education”, an important piece of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Staff from our Vancouver office went to work this past December, volunteering a number of hours and days to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The list is long so read below for a roster of staff members who participated.
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank supports 27,500 people weekly, shares 3.5 million pounds of food a year, distributes 54,000 eggs a month, and receives 68,500 volunteer hours annually.
The Food Bank helps deal with “Zero Hunger”from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Our Vancouver office participants include: Devon Huber, Senior Tax Manager; Hugh G. Livingstone, Partner; Hilda Leung, Senior Manager; Brianne Formosa, Manager; Corey Huber, Manager; Raji Dhaliwal, Senior Accountant; David Zhang, Staff Accountant; Jessica Johnson, Senior Accountant; Jimmy Wong, Senior Accountant; Sarah Byron, Office Coordinator; Stefan Ferris, Managing Partner; Sarah Byron, Office Coordinator; Ashley Deroschers, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant; York Wong, Partner; Nupur Rishi, Director – Global Mobility Tax; Pej Mahlooji, Partner.
Kelowna Pride Society
Jessica Lenz, a Senior Accountant from our Kelowna office, volunteers with The Kelowna Pride Society and is their treasurer.
The Kelowna Pride Society organizes events and offers programs to connect the LGBTQ+ community with the community at large. Jessica volunteers for the organization because the Kelowna Pride Society coincides with her own values of equality, inclusion, and acceptance.
The Society support’s “Gender Equality” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Alexis Troup, our Marketing Specialist in Edmonton, volunteers her time as a board member for oikos International, a student-led organization promoting sustainability in economics and management Globally.
She has been volunteering with oikos for three years and worn many hats over her time. In the past, she’s been a Project Manager, Vice President of Human Resources, Co-President, and now sits on the Board as the Vice President of Marketing.
Alexis volunteers with oikos because she believes there needs to be more than just the ‘bottom-line’ considered in business decisions and operations. She hopes by promoting oikos within university business courses, such as Economics, it will integrate conscious decision-making processes that holistically consider profits, the environment, and surrounding communities.
The organization touches on many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals namely: Sustainable Communities and Cities; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Climate Action.
CIBC Run for the Cure
Jennifer Mendes, a Senior Manager in our Kelowna office, is passionate about supporting the Canadian Breast Cancer CIBC Run for the Cure and has been active with the organization since 2012.
She’s been on the organizing committee for four years, while also fundraising and participating in the event
Joining the organization was very personal for Jen. What first started off as something that impacted a single family member quickly became something that impacted colleagues and their spouses, as well as friends and their children.
Jen continues to raise an impressive amount of funds. She does this because she wants to find a cure to “make sure children don’t have to go through this awful disease,” and to find a cure for those currently fighting their battle.
The CIBC Run for the Cure supports “Gender Equality” as well as “Good Health & Well-Being” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Calgary Girls School
Ashley Jensen, a Manager from our Calgary office, volunteers her time with the Calgary Girls School, a Calgary based Charter school that provides education to girls and young women in grades four to nine.
She has been volunteering with the organization for almost a year. When she first became involved with the organization she was a member of the finance-committee, reporting to the Board of Directors. Now, she holds a more prominent role as a member of the Board of Directors.
Ashley volunteers with the Calgary Girls School because she’s an advocate for gender equality as well as the promotion of female leadership. Ashley finds it “inspiring that the Calgary Girls School has implemented an educational program that is structured to help our future female leaders develop the skills and foundations necessary to be successful.”
The Calgary Girls School successfully supports “Quality Education” and “Gender Equality” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Rochelle Mitchell, a Partner in our Edmonton office, has been volunteering for four years with the Skills Society as their Treasurer.
The Skills Society believes those with disabilities are underserved; therefore, they strive to support those with disabilities, enabling them to live their fullest lives like any other citizen.
Rochelle volunteers with the Skills Society because it’s allowed her to be a part of something special. She says “they are such wonderful caring people who truly advocate for persons with disabilities.” Rochelle believes that her involvement has been worth-while, even if she plays a small part of the amazing work they do in the community.
The organization and its initiatives help with “Reduce Inequalities” and “Good Health and Well-Bing” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Relay for Life
Hitika Mittal, a Staff Accountant from our Kelowna office, volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society and their Relay for Life.
Every year post-secondary schools can choose to host a Relay for Life, requiring 12 hours of fundraising. Hitika has participated in UBC’s event for three years, but this year she volunteered for the society taking on the role of ‘Sponsorships,’ approaching businesses to sponsor the food and activities. This year the Canadian Cancer Society was able to break the record and raise 1 million nationally.
Hitika volunteers with this organization because she wants to be a part of an initiative that is working towards creating a world where people are not afraid of the word “Cancer” and support the progress in the medical field to cure the disease.
The organization supports Better Health and Well-Being in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Rainbow Society
We’ve mentioned Justin Jones, a Manager from our Edmonton office, already for National Volunteer Week but he also helps another organization as their Treasurer called The Rainbow Society.
The Rainbow Society grants wishes for children of Alberta that are diagnosed with severe, chronic or life-threatening medical illness.
Justin says “It’s easy to forget as we go about our lives the health challenges that face so many of us. But, when it comes to seeing children face their chronic health conditions with such bravery and grit, it’s hard not to notice.” He says it’s amazing to see the joy on the children and families faces when their wish is granted.
The Society supports “Good Health and Well-Being” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Yukon Amateur Boxing Society
Basil Alcordo, an Accountant in our Whitehorse office, volunteers as the Treasurer and Bookkeeper with the Yukon Amateur Boxing Society and has been doing so for three and a half years.
Basil volunteers for the Society because when he was younger he wished he had access to an organization that could enable him to push harder, gain confidence, be fit, and be part of a social community. The Society is heavily based on volunteerism. Kids that show up might not be able to pay the fees but are still welcomed to join, enabling them to stay out of trouble.
The Amateur Boxing Society Lifts the Community by offering a welcoming environment that helps strengthen individuals physical body as well as mental and social well-being, supporting “Good Health and Well-Being” as part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Rotary Club of Yellowknife
Celestino Oh, a Partner in our Yellowknife Office, volunteers with the Rotary Club of Yellowknife. He has been volunteering with them for 12 years now, holding a number of different roles.
Celestino has been on the Board of Directors (2008 – 2014), Treasurer (2009 – 2014), Assistant District Governor (2017), a part of the Membership Committee for the District (2018), and the Chair of the Foundation (2014 – 2017).
Celestino volunteers with the Rotary Club of Yellowknife because of the organization’s community projects and their commitment to eradicating Polio in the world. The organization also does many joint projects in Celestino’s home country of Belize. Celestino believes the organization ‘lift’s the community’ by encouraging people of all ages to volunteer, and encourages a world where all professions are important to unite the community.
The 17 Sustainable Development goals this the organization supports include: Reduce Inequalities; No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-Being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.
Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club
We have another staff member involved with two organizations who we’ve mentioned already, Basil Alcordo. He has been the Treasurer and Bookkeeper for the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club for one and a half years.
Basil says he volunteers because he enjoys the sport and was impressed by the instructors patience and willingness to teach when he had joined. Additionally, he felt the fees he paid barely covered the equipment he was borrowing to use, giving him the desire to repay the favor.
The organization contributes to the community by raising awareness on paddling in the territory, as well as gives a social platform for paddling enthusiasts. The organization also supports Youth in the community who are trying to excel in kayaking on a local, national, and international level.
The Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club support “Good Health and Well-Being” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
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