How we’ve been paying it forward from coast to coast

Pay It Forward


Happy National Volunteer Week! All across Canada, this week marks an opportunity “to celebrate and thank Canada’s 24 million volunteers.” We’re beyond proud to share that hundreds of those volunteers work right here at Payworks… and what better way to recognize the occasion than by sharing the stories of just a few of the folks on our team who’ve been out doing good in the community?

Since the 2015 inception of our Pay it Forward (PIF) Day program, we’ve been using our time and talents to make a difference at the organizations about which we’re passionate. Read on for a quick roundup of some of the last PIF Days of 2023!

At the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up, their “job was beach”

An individual taking a selfie with four bags of garbage and four other individuals in the background. On a rainy Friday morning in October, five members of Payworks’ Nova Scotia team headed down to Tufts Cove in Dartmouth, NS for their second annual Shoreline Cleanup. As part of the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up (a “community-based, volunteer-driven litter clean-up program”), all participants received the gear they’d need to safely pick up and dispose of litter and recyclables – in the case of our team, over 100lbs of it!

Despite what they describe as “the poor weather conditions and slightly dangerous terrain,” their spirits remained high as they enjoyed lots of laughs along the way and the reward of knowing they’d made an impact for their community – underscored by the heartfelt thanks of a community member who happened upon their group while out for her daily walk.

Reported highlights included “being together and doing a great thing as a team, the jokes and camaraderie, and the brunch at the end of the cleanup session!”

Photo: Five members of our Atlantic Canada crew with the 100+ lbs of garbage and recyclables they cleaned up from the shoreline of Tufts Cove, NS.

Glitz and glam for a Night of Miracles

Meanwhile, on the very same day but over 3,000 km to the west, a cross-functional team of Payworks employees was engaged in a very different sort of cleanup: preparing Winnipeg, MB’s Metropolitan Entertainment Centre for the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation (CRF)’s annual gala!

The CRF is “a Manitoba charity dedicated to helping children and youth live as independently as possible,” and every year, their Night of Miracles gala “raises funds for specialized equipment and vital programs.” In helping the CRF crew prepare for the event, Payworks PIF-ers unloaded flowers from the delivery trucks, organized Silent Auction prizes, and helped whip the table centerpieces into tiptop shape.

“My highlight of the day was seeing all the prizes that were donated and how our help made the event really come together,” shared Implementation Specialist Vanessa San Diego. “Working with peers who I don’t normally see in the office was an added bonus!”

“Everyone stepped up and actively worked towards ensuring CRF could focus on the decoration and on directing stage setup,” added Integration Architect Aaron Glawson. “It was truly inspiring to be part of a group of Payworks employees from a wide array of departments working together so cohesively. It was also a fun change of pace to spend the day performing different activities than my usual day-to-day!”

Nine Payworks staff standing in the concourse of a building wearing matching t-shirts.

Photo: Payworks folks on-site at The Met, helping to prepare for the CRF’s Night of Miracles gala.

Helping to make RMHC feel like “Home Sweet Home”

Two Payworks staff wearing matching t-shirts look over a recipe on a kitchen counter. Near the end of November, eight members of Payworks’ Marketing team visited the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) house in Winnipeg, MB to spend a PIF morning baking treats for RMHC’s new Home Sweet Home program.

RMHC is “a home away from home for rural Manitoban and out-of-province families with a child requiring treatment at a nearby hospital.” As one of many ways to support RMHC’s vital work, Home Sweet Home “is a wonderful way to help make [their] House and Family Room feel like home for families by ensuring that comforting treats are on-hand for them to share together.”

On the menu that day: ginger snaps, banana bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and even some no-bake cookies that were packaged up individually and ready for families to grab-and-go!

Photo: Partnership Marketing Manager Doug Coombs and Senior Marketing Manager Amanda Soloway making a list and checking it twice to keep the crew on track at RMHC.

“This was my first time volunteering at RMHC, and I was blown away at both the functionality and genuine care built into every corner of the space,” said Senior Communications Specialist Sarah Gagne. “Their team was really welcoming, and made ours feel very much at home! We had a great time sharing and baking some of our favourite family recipes together.”

Feeding local families with Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir

In the midst of the December holiday season, nine members of Payworks’ Montréal team gathered at Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir to help distribute nourishment – not only food, but also a listening ear and even a warm hug if needed – to over 300 local families.

Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir “provides support and assistance to the most disadvantaged in our community by promoting their integration into the job market and providing them with access to varied, quality food.” The Payworks folks accompanied and assisted the families in gathering and packaging up kitchen staples like fruits, vegetables, flour, sugar, milk, eggs and more, and were also pleased to present the organization’s Co-founder and Executive Director with a donation to help keep Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir’s critical community work going all year long.

“It was so special to be able to connect with our team and help those in need in the spirit of the holidays,” shared Implementation Specialist Tania Pannozzo. Her fellow Implementation Specialist Alessandra Buffone agreed: “It was such a great experience to give back to the community. What an amazing day!”

For Sales Consultant Erik Pannozzo, “the most rewarding was the smile we put on their faces, making them feel comfortable, giving hugs when needed and listening to their stories.”

Seven Payworks staff wearing matching t-shirts. Standing in front of a table with lots of produce.

Photo: Our Montréal PIF crew, ready to help feed over 300 local families at Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir.

Looking to join a team that’s driven to give back? When it comes to great people, there’s always room for one more. Explore life at Payworks here:

Seeing is believing!

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