AT PTC, every employee has the Power to Create. We don’t just imagine a better world, we help create it, and one of the ways we do that is by doing good. The Social Impact team recently launched PTC for Good: the umbrella that activates our entire ecosystem around things like volunteering (we offer two days off per year to give back), employee donations, corporate giving, our Foundation, and more. While we focus on STEM, the environment, and our communities at the corporate level, employees are encouraged to support the causes and organizations they care about most.
We’re so proud of our global impact thanks to our employee-led grassroots initiatives and events. One example of a duo putting their stamp on our PTC for Good program comes out of our Waterloo, Ontario location: Meet Wazir Ally and Tonia Scott!
Wazir Ally and Tonia Scott
Wazir is a regional Customer Success Manager and Tonia is a local HR Business Partner. Together, they have been co-leading PTC Canada’s involvement in our global Week of Caring program for the last four years. They have organized various activities including warm clothing and book drives, healthy food donations, and student mentorship programs. They have such a passionate group of local employees that their office area does a whole month of volunteer activities and fundraising to build community through self-help outreach programs.
The area around Waterloo is a diverse socioeconomic area that welcomes lots of new immigrants. One of our core values is “PTC for All,” in which we value and respect all identities, cultures, and perspectives so we can be our best, most authentic selves. The PTC Canada team goes above and beyond to help make those folks feel included, valued, and part of the community. The team initially started their efforts with a breakfast program running out of a community center to give kids free breakfast in the morning with a packed lunch to-go. They dubbed this program “Snack Attack” because of the excited swarm of little kids with big smiles rushing in each morning.
Tonia explained that their activities go “beyond donating our dollars–it’s the experience that really matters. We recognized that these kids didn’t always have their own lunch bag (we only provided brown paper bags), so we started offering cool cartoon lunch bags in fun colors. A little lunch bag symbolizes so much more than we’re aware of. By upgrading our bags, we were giving these kids confidence and a sense of belonging. We didn’t want anyone to feel ‘othered’ or like they were getting a handout.”
Wazir added, “PTC’s Week of Caring is near and dear to me. I’ve never felt so connected to the community. As someone who came from a single-parent home in a tough community, I’ve been marginalized. I know from experience how much of an impact donations and acts of kindness can have on people in those spaces. Now with my own family, I can’t imagine kids going to school without lunch, snacks, proper winter clothes, etc. It’s so real. I love this opportunity that PTC gives us.”
PTC Canada employees preparing for “Snack Attack”
Catherine Gitzel, a staff member at The Gathering Church and is active in the Chandler Mowat community center, explained how the PTC volunteers give a boost of energy, enthusiasm, and encouragement to everyone involved. “Their presence lightens the workload for the regular volunteers and allows us to see the children and youth welcoming and engaging in conversation with new adults. The kids love when PTC comes to serve because they feel seen by people beyond their community.”
She continued, “The volunteer time that PTC gives is an encouragement to City staff, The Gathering Church, and House of Friendship. We work together to help bring love, dignity, and resources to families, which is so deeply welcomed in the cold of winter. The PTC volunteers provide engaging conversations, role modeling to the youth, laughter, and lots of high-fives. Community is built. Life is shared. It’s a good day at “Snack Attack” when PTC joins in.”
It can feel overwhelming to know where or how to get started in making an impact in your own community, so Tonia and Wazir gave us a few tips:
Giving back to our communities has never been so important. The world is changing, inflation continues to rise, and it hits the poorest families hardest. Wazir explained that “by providing an outlet for people to plug into, you’d be surprised how many people want to get involved. Everyone wants to be part of a team that does good work.”
Tonia says, “Week of Caring is high on my list of great programs, and it’s become so meaningful to me because I get to connect with employees in and outside of my core team. It’s such a rewarding piece of my PTC experience.”
Wazir added, “I appreciate that I work for a great organization that gives me great volunteer benefits with an empowering mission. We have giving hearts at PTC–from Boston to Waterloo.”
We’re so proud of the Waterloo team and the good they bring to their community. This is just one example of working collaboratively as a team to achieve extraordinary outcomes in the spirit of “PTC for All.” Stay tuned for more PTC for Good stories from around the world!
Elizabeth Monahan (she/hers) is the Communications Principal at PTC, responsible for creating compelling storytelling and narratives in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Social Impact space to enhance the current employee experience as well as the employer brand for prospective talent and partners. She has more than a decade of experience in internal communications, public relations, content, social media, and consumer brand marketing.