a decade of service in one year: alcoa volunteers
Last week, as the nation turned its eye to philanthropy during Volunteering Australia’s National Volunteering Week, Alcoa of Australia released a company record 90,976 hours of volunteering in 2008, equating to 3,791 days or 10.4 years.
The efforts of 22%* of our Australian workforce generated a total of $US308,000 in community funding, as our people got on board with the Alcoa Foundation’s signature volunteering programs ACTION and Bravo! All aspects of community benefited, from emergency services and health care to environment conservation and schools.
ACTION (Alcoans Coming Together in our Neighbourhoods) offers grants to not-for-profit organisations benefiting from teams of ten or more Alcoans working collaboratively on specific projects. Last year 43 ACTION grants, worth up to $3000 each (depending on team size), were awarded due to the efforts of 528 employees.
The Bravo! program recognises individual effort when 50 hours of personal time is committed to one organisation in one year. Last year, 752 Bravo! participants generated that many $250 grants for their community organisations.
Expressing his satisfaction at the latest figures, Alcoa’s Managing Director Alan Cransberg reiterated the importance of volunteering to Alcoa.
“Volunteering is in Alcoa’s DNA, it’s a critical part of our social responsibility and I would like to see everyone get involved in some capacity.
“Watching numbers grow like this is fantastic and makes me exceptionally proud. The uncertain world we live in today cries out for more community spirit and person to person support. Absolutely Alcoa is a part of that.”
Alcoa’s annual global celebration of volunteering each October, ‘Month of Service’, drew participation from 37% of the Australian workforce. The total participation from the global Alcoa workforce was 24%, up 6% from 2007. During ‘Month of Service’ in Australia, 67 community organisations were helped, over 540 employees attended workshops to learn how to reduce their personal greenhouse footprint through Alcoa’s Make an Impact program, and a range of environmental activities were held with over 7,655 trees planted by employees and community members.
Read more about Alcoa’s volunteering and community partnerships.
*% participation – based on 6004 employees
cancer council gets a helping hand
A team of dedicated Alcoa volunteers from our global research and development group, based at Kwinana, have been getting behind the Cancer Council.
The Technology Delivery Group has been participating in ‘Relay for Life’, which is more than just a fundraiser for the Cancer Council – it’s also an opportunity for the community to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back against the disease that takes too much. The Alcoa team is fittingly called The Aluminators.
During ‘Relay for Life’ events, teams must keep their baton moving around Perry Lakes Stadium in Perth continuously for 24 hours. This symbolises that cancer never sleeps. Ten Alcoa volunteers, plus their family members, worked a 24-hour roster to keep the team baton (an aluminium tube) moving around the track.
Over the past 12 months, The Aluminators has raised around $11,000 for the Cancer Council and was recently awarded second place in the Corporate Teams category of ‘Relay for Life’.
Team captain, Nick Pearson, expressed his thanks to everyone who organised, supported or participated in The Aluminators fundraising events and activities throughout the past year.
“Thanks to Alcoa for supporting the team by providing marquees to use at the event, protecting us from the elements and providing shelter for those of us who stayed throughout the night,” he said.
In total, ‘Relay for Life’ 2009 raised more than $500,000.
portland aluminium volunteers repair popular tourist attraction
Our people from Portland Aluminium recently lent a hand to help complete essential upgrades to a popular local tourist walk.
During April and May, Bac-Links (a not-for-profit organisation that brings together business and community, with the aim of building a stronger more sustainable community) organised a team of Portland Aluminium volunteers to help the ‘Friends of the Great Southern Walk’ (GSWW) replace a 20-year-old weather-beaten boardwalk at Black Nose Point in Portland.
Mr Rob Bartlett, President of the Friends of the GSWW, said that with over 20,000 annual visitors on the Great South West Walk, maintenance is an ongoing issue. He said that having Portland Aluminium employees working alongside GSWW volunteers for a day, once a year was of great assistance.
“Having the collective efforts of skilled and passionate Portland Aluminium volunteers, who really seem to enjoy working on the GSWW, enables us to complete high quality maintenance work within a shorter space of time,” Mr Bartlett said.
John Osborne, Portland Aluminium Operations Manager, said his employees had a proud culture of volunteering.
“Volunteering and supporting our community in Portland is absolutely fundamental to our success. We are committed to using our people-power to create a more sustainable future for us all,” John said.
Carol Stewart, Bac-Links Program Officer, said in a world that is becoming increasingly more dependent on electronic communication, corporate volunteering offers opportunities to build relationships and trust within a community.
“Corporate volunteering can provide a personal connection between business and community with Bac-Links assisting businesses to realise the full potential of an employee volunteer program”, she added.
Meantime, John Osborne officially opened the ‘Better Living Centre’ which will help address some of the problems faced by under-privileged members of the Portland community.
The new Centre, located behind the Loaves and Fishes Emergency Food Bank, will assist people who are “in a rut” by providing them with hot food once a week, basic cooking and gardening classes and a warm place to sit and relax. Portland Aluminium is currently in a three year partnership with Loaves and Fishes.
Many of Loaves and Fishes current clients are second generation unemployed, while others have problems budgeting - an issue which will now be better addressed through the Better Living Centre.
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