Give a little to receive a lot
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” So said Winston Churchill and over the past few weeks, the sentiment of his words has been felt by many of us here at Medibank.
Medibank team members have really got behind volunteering with more than 20 percent of employees participating in the program across Australia. By the end of December, we expect almost 800 employees to have provided over 2,000 hours of time to volunteering this year. From making trauma teddies for children, to decorating gingerbread houses, sorting donated clothing and making sandwiches for hungry schoolkids.
Maybe the tumultuous events of the past year have encouraged more of corporate Australia to get involved in ways to give back to their community – we’ve seen a 35 percent increase in the number of our people participating compared to 2018.
This year we’ve worked with eight organisations on a range of volunteering opportunities, including Taskforce, Eat Up and Red Cross, along with individual community organisations selected by employees.
I joined our team in decorating gingerbread houses to be distributed by Taskforce, who work with people who have experienced signification disadvantage or crisis in their lives. Volunteering is such a good way for a team to step away from day to day work, have some fun and build stronger relationships, all for a good cause. We had a great time making the gingerbread houses, even though my cake decorating and general creativity abilities left a lot to be desired.
We strongly believe in supporting volunteering. All Medibank employees have access to eight hours of community leave per year, and we match employee donations up to $1,000 per year for each team member. It’s no surprise that companies encourage volunteering amongst employees - people feel happier, healthier and more connected when they volunteer.
It was really amazing hearing from Taskforce at the very beginning of the workshop and seeing first-hand the impact they have on vulnerable teenagers. I kept picturing the smiling faces at the other end and the parents who would not normally be able to give their kids anything at Christmas.
Our Yammer feed has lit up with stories and pictures, and the goodwill felt by those volunteering has been shared across all of us. We’re continuing to refine our program to ensure our people can give back to a cause they care about, in a way that can make a bigger impact to the community.