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Softchoice Cares

Softchoice Cares is an employee-inspired and employee-driven philanthropic program that reaches across bordersSoftchoice Cares is an employee-inspired and employee-driven philanthropic program that reaches across borders to show our caring in a very tangible way. Our approach allows our employees to make a difference here in our own back yard, across North America and international borders - with a focus on "bridging the digital divide".

We believe in equal access to education and knowledge through technology!

We believe technology is the means for a better world and a powerful tool in creating positive change. We're guided by the belief that when we align our charitable giving and volunteer efforts with our purpose as a company, our impact becomes exponentially greater in helping thousands of people develop the skills and means for a brighter future.

Why we're here

Unleashing Potential Through Technology

Softchoice Cares is an employee-inspired and employee-driven philanthropic program that reaches across borders to show our caring in a very tangible way. Our approach allows our employees to make a difference here in our own back yard, across North America and international borders - with a focus on "bridging the digital divide".

We believe in equal access to education and knowledge through technology! We believe technology is the means for a better world and a powerful tool in creating positive change. We're guided by the belief that when we align our charitable giving and volunteer efforts with our purpose as a company, our impact becomes exponentially greater in helping thousands of people develop the skills and means for a brighter future.

Since inception, Softchoice Cares has raised more than $1 million to enhance opportunities for education and personal advancement so that people of all walks can achieve their potential. By participating in activities to raise money or volunteering their time to support these efforts, our employees are helping ensure people from all walks of life can achieve their potential.

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History

Since its early days, Softchoice employees have always participated in giving back to their local communities through support to various charities across North America. However, in December of 2004, a devastating tsunami struck South East Asia. Following the catastrophe a few employees decided to raise money to support the massive relief effort. Their example caused a chain reaction company-wide, as employees pitched in to contribute and raise funds.

Realizing the impact by focusing our efforts around a central need, the formation of our first Softchoice Cares employee-led board occurred in 2006. The board is comprised entirely of employees who volunteer their time outside of the normal course of business. Guided by our people and a clear focus on fostering sustainable change through technology, Softchoice Cares delivers on the promise of sharing our success, creativity & compassion with those less fortunate in our own communities & around the world.

Today, it's the hundreds of Softchoice employees, partners, customers and friends and family who are really the driving force behind Cares and the many fundraising activities across North America. In addition to their dedication and creativity to supporting events and volunteer days, our people also donate generously through voluntary payroll deductions. All of the funds raised go towards supporting our philanthropic efforts!

How we do it

By providing access to technology for those less fortunate in our own communities and around the world, we’re giving thousands of people the tools and means for a better life.

National Leadership: POWER UP technology grants for schools in need

Technology has the potential to transform student learning, especially for students who lack the same access and opportunities as their more affluent peers. Power Up technology grants create 21st century learning opportunities for elementary school children in underserved communities across North America.

Local Impact: Power 2 the People

Power 2 the People gives Softchoice employees across North America the chance to raise money and awareness for the causes they feel most passionate about.

International Projects

Each term, the Softchoice Cares Board embarks on an International Volunteer Experience to build computer labs in underprivileged communities around the world.

Recent blog posts

Power Up

National Leadership: Power Up technology grants for schools in need

More than 16 million children in North America are growing up in poverty. For these children, learning to use technology through a quality education is pivotal to breaking the cycle of poverty.

At Softchoice, we believe in unleashing the potential of people and technology. Through our Power Up program, we focus on providing students from low-income communities with equal access to technology and high-quality 21st-century digital learning. By increasing their access to technology today, we hope to help students develop the technical skills that will be critical to thrive in the careers of tomorrow.

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Power to the People

Through our Power to the People program, we challenged employees to identify and support charities that were using technology to improved lives. This program gives employees in local branches, across North America, the chance to raise money and awareness for the causes they feel most passionate about. Our employees find and nominate local charities that are using technology to make our communities better. Employees get involved in everything from championing a cause, volunteering for the cause and organizing or participating in fundraising events. All funds raised receive fund matching by Softchoice Cares! Add to that, the top three performing charities also receive additional funding at the end of the P2P program period. Employees may also use their volunteer hours to support these and other organizations across North America!

Where are some areas P2P has made a big impact?

  • Allowed Child's Play to provide technology, entertainment and games to sick children in hospitals across North America, giving a sense of normalcy during a generally unpleasant time.
  • Helped Kids' Health Links Foundation enhance the medical experiences of young patients in Canadian children's hospitals through technology programs that keep them connected with family, friends and school community.
  • Supported Children's Rescue Mission with more than $39,500 that helped provide 1000s of kids with access to technology and education by building and sustaining computer labs in rural Honduras.

Since P2P was launched in 2012 we have raised more than $150k for over 25 charities across the USA, Canada and even Honduras!

International Projects

Softchoice Cares funds a variety of projects and causes aimed at furthering computer literacy and providing access to technology to those in need in our local communities and around the world. Over the years we've partnered with One Laptop per Child, Developing World Connections, the Technology Access Foundation as well as Habitat for Humanity. Through Project Connect we're supplying new computers and internet access in newly built Habitat for Humanity homes. Project Connect also gives our people the opportunity to volunteer locally by educating participating families on the use and set up of these computers.

Softchoice Cares overseas missions offer powerful, life-changing experiences for our people. Through a variety of different projects Softchoice employees have helped some of the world's most impoverished communities lay the foundations for a better future. The money raised through annual fundraising is used to support these projects directly while the missions themselves, including travel and room and board expenses are funded entirely by Softchoice, partner sponsorships, and participating board members.

In the middle of the Softchoice Cares Board's term, the team embarks on an International Volunteer Experience to help bridge the digital divide, building computer labs in underprivileged communities around the world. Softchoice believes that getting new PCs into the hands of those who need them most will create significant opportunities to enhance education, further skills training and ultimately improve prospects for future employment.

The Softchoice Cares employees bring passion, skills in education and information technology and strong teamwork to the projects.

Events & Volunteering

Fundraising Events

To support our local, national and international initiatives, we couldn’t do it without the hundreds of events run by employees across North America! Through a variety of activities – from curling and golf tournaments, to yard sales, trivia nights, raffles and more – our fundraising activities foster team work and camaraderie across the Softchoice community. At the end of the day, it's about making a difference in our world. But having fun and connecting with peers beyond the normal course of business has been just as important in making Softchoice Cares a lynchpin in the culture of our company. Here are just a few of the ways we put the 'fun' in fundraising:

  • Rock Paper Scissors Tournaments
  • Dunk Tanks
  • Foosball Tournaments
  • T-shirt sales
  • Yard Sale
  • MacDonald Cup Street Hockey Tournament
  • Curling Bonspiels
  • Annual Seattle & Toronto Golf Tournaments
  • Trivia Nights
  • Christmas Card Sale

Executive Board

Bill Craig

Bill Craig

Co-Chair

Kathleen DSylva

Kathleen D'Sylva

Co-Chair

Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Business Manager

Tina Wilsher

Tina Wilsher

Charity Officer

Ross Thorton

Ross Thorton

Event Planning Officer

Nick Young

Nick Young

Communications Officer

Attique Ajmal

Attique Ajmal

Charity Liaison

Chris Ramnarine

Chris Ramnarine

Marketing Liaison

Chantel Yack

Chantel Yack

P2P Liaison

David Wagner

David Wagner

Regional Ambassador Lead

Dom Orlando

Dom Orlando

Regional Ambassador - US West

Dom Wong

Dom Wong

Regional Ambassador - US East

Margaret Kim

Margaret Kim

Regional Ambassador - Canada

Peter Jones

Peter Jones

Regional Ambassador - Canada West

Christopher Plouffe

Christopher Plouffe

Treasurer

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