When 14-year-old John and his mother, a cancer patient, showed up at The Salvation Army Family Life Resource Center (FLRC) in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, they were escaping an abusive relationship. "For my mom to actually seek help was a huge step, and it shows just how badly she needed it," says John. "When she did, people were there to help."
People like John and his mother are the reason Meritor Inc.'s Women's Business Resource Group (WBRG) is holding its fourth annual Global Service Day on March 6. On this day, the company's global workforce volunteers time and contributes money to support charities involving women or women's issues. Global Service Day coincides with International Women's Day, which highlights women's issues throughout the world.
Employees at 18 Meritor sites in nine countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States – will hold fundraising events and collect food, clothing and household items for a variety of charities. In 2014, Meritor's employees around the world logged more than 800 volunteer hours for Global Service Day activities, impacting more than 1,400 people who are helped by the charities.
"Through Global Service Day, our employees are putting into action Meritor's commitment to social responsibility in the communities where we work and live," says Sandra Quick, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Meritor and executive sponsor of the WBRG. "Their dedicated efforts are having a real impact on women and families affected by violence, homelessness, illnesses and poverty."
Examples of this year's Global Service Day activities include:
- Providing school supplies for 50 children in Sao Paulo, Brazil;
- Supporting 250 autistic children in Monterrey, Mexico by raising money for school supplies;
- Equipping a women's shelter in Newark, OH, United States with clothing, towels and kitchen items;
- Providing pocket money to low-income schoolchildren to cover lunch, transportation fares and other school-related expenses in Singapore;
- Providing clothing and medicine for people in India during times of natural disasters;
- Funding a Michigan-based charity that works to foster self-esteem in women of all ages.
Efforts by Meritor's Brampton, Ontario employees on behalf of FLRC, an emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence, are an example of Global Service Day's activities. In 2014, FLRC sheltered 150 abused women and 300 children. Meritor has supported the shelter since 2012.
On Global Service Day, Brampton employees will present $1,000 raised through special events such as pancake breakfasts to buy $25 gift cards for the FLRC residents. Although the FLRC receives most of its funding from the Ontario provincial government, the facility relies on donations to supplement its activities.
"Meritor is part of our Brampton community, and without this kind of support, we could never offer a high level of services that help families turn their lives around," says Marilyn Field, Director, FLRC. "People – especially the children – come to our door with empty eyes, but as time goes by, they start to look up and put their arms around you. With their donation, Meritor is helping us create a place of hope for their future."