Our Nova Scotia team & United Way working together
Mar 20, 2021Pay It Forward
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Despite the unique challenges of 2020, Payworks’ Nova Scotia team was able to work together to achieve one of their goals for the year: to give back to the community by participating in a Pay it Forward (PIF) day as a team.
“Although the pandemic created a bit of a road block in front of our goal as we weren't sure of the opportunities available to us with local restrictions and social distancing protocols, it proved to be no match when we reached out to our internal committee at Payworks, called the PIF Committee, and our local United Way office,” says Stephen McKeller, Sales Consultant. "They equipped us with ideas and support."
The team reached out to the United Way office in Halifax to ask if they could all volunteer together.
“We were delighted to hear back from their Relationship and Development Officer Kate Powe and Development Specialist Nicole Cameron regarding a project through YWCA Halifax,” Stephen shared. “The YWCA Halifax Supportive Housing for Young Mothers Program (SHYM) was looking for a team of volunteers who could do some outside yard work to help them prepare for the winter.”
An early snowstorm initially forced the team to postpone their PIF Day, but after a week everyone was eager and ready to get started. Stephen recalls his favorite memory of that day, looking up after cutting a tree limb with the chain saw, only to see a toddler-aged girl smiling, clapping, and waving in the window.
“Armed with rakes, saws, lawn mowers and good vibes, we all dove into the challenge and had a blast cleaning up and transforming their outside space," he said.
Implementation Specialist Sean Morton described the experience as “probably the most fun I’ve had doing yardwork. Aside from using the day to do the work they needed, we also had the opportunity to learn a lot about the programs in the community offered by the YWCA. Before this experience I had no idea they existed. It was a fulfilling experience to take part in, but it was also an eye opener.”
Sales Manager Craig Soontiens also shared another great memory from that day. He recalls walking to the front of the building and being stopped by a mother and her two-year-old child so they could thank the team for cleaning the yard and making it safer for the kids to play in.
According to Stephen, the program’s Facilities and Operations Manager Wanda Hill was astonished by the progress made that day. The team was also told that their efforts saved the organization thousands of dollars - important funding that could now be reallocated towards other key initiatives for the YWCA.
“It was extremely humbling to know that this money could now be put towards their participants and the important programs they run for community members,” says Stephen. “This would not have been possible without Payworks and their constant encouragement and focus to Pay it Forward in our communities."