Rock, Paper, Scissors to raise money

On March 10th at 6pm EST, the Softchoice lunchroom was transformed from a place where employees gather to eat, into a place where employees gather to eat…and settle their differences with Rocks, Papers, and Scissors!

We had an amazing 33 competitors, throwing down for their crack at the title of “Softchoice RPS Grand Champion” (SCC-RPSGC), but only one would prevail; Dinh Tran from the Toronto Mid-Market Outbound Team.  Allow us to frame what may accompany this most prestigious title:

  • The SCC-RPSGC has the right to set the RPS match terms if they’re ever challenged by a fellow employee.
  • The SCC-RPSGC has the right to refuse any RPS challenge, and will do so while looking disapprovingly at the challenger.
  • The evening meal previously known as “supper”, will henceforth be known as “dinner”
  • Dinh Tran has the right to add the “SCC-RPSGC” designation to his email signature.
  • The SCC-RPSGC will open the 2012 RPS Tournament, and provide the ceremonial Words of a Decisive Decision Maker (SCC-RPSGC, WDDM)

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It’s not all about the Benjamins

It is not just all about monetary impact with Softchoice Cares.   Employees can use up to 2 paid volunteer days per year locally with community charity organizations (almost 400 volunteer days per year are being used).  Since September 2008 our Seattle office has been committing volunteer hours to Technology Access Foundation (TAF) which helps prepare at risk children for higher education and professional success through after school programs.  Since 2006 we had numerous offices across North America get their hands dirty with Habitat for Humanity on local builds providing homes for those without the funds to provide the bear necessity of housing.  In 2010, we announced a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help provide technological access to homes that are being built for families in need.  Our employees are creative individuals who have spent their volunteer days driving citizens in Philadelphia to the election pools.  A popular choice is breaking bread in soup kitchens and food banks all over North America.  It is also not surprising that Softchoice employees want their volunteer days to be spent in the technology field setting up computer labs in places like San Francisco and Montreal. 

The above volunteer hours and funds donated to philanthropy organizations are just a few of the examples of the impact Softchoice Cares has made in five short years.  These combined efforts have enabled us to impact thousands of families in positive ways.

Believe

We believe we can make a difference locally and abroad and we’re empowering our people to do so. In 2010, we hosted a record number of events, participated in a record number of builds, used a record number of volunteer days and made a significant impact to people in our neighborhoods and across the globe.

 

Through our efforts, more people now have access to technology and the tools to craft a better future. We believe in bridging the digital divide, for everyone.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7BW4_So724

 

The Magic!

The people of Softchoice are passionate about making a difference in the world. That might be by providing a day or work in a local community or it might be volunteering with the skills we have learned in our business.The thing that we have learned through the many things we have done is that we are in the computer business and the best way to help in the world – to play to our strengths is to find ways to help people bridge the divide that exists between people who have access to technology and those who don’t.

We have funded computer classrooms with Room to Read. We have paid for classrooms and school setups with One Laptop Per Child. We have funded charities like the Chiki Children’s Charity to build computer labs in small villages. In North America we have set up computers in Women’s shelters and other local charities.

But, our experience is really challenged when we travel to poor countries and start a technology program from scratch. Our people travelled to Uganda one year. And Rwanda the next. This year we head to Sri Lanka.

We first had some experience with Sri Lanka shortly after the Tsunami. Softchoice people raised $85,000 and that money was used to help people in Sri Lanka. We helped people get their lives back by building houses and supporting children through World Vision.

This trip is a return to Sri Lanka but this time where our purpose is aligned with our business. We will start a computer program in a primary school in Tangalle. Our business partners are helping us with the materials. Softchoice employees have raised money that pays for things like fixing the classroom up, buying desks and chairs and purchasing the items we can’t get donated. Softchoice pays for flights, food and hotels from the company expense budget. And all of this adds up to opportunity for the children of Tangalle. I feel so lucky to be part of a company that has such a wide vision that this kind of thing is possible. This has no financial bottom line impact for Softchoice but we do it because it is the right thing to do. Reaching out and assisting others isn’t about writing a check. It is about taking a risk, making an effort, demonstrating a caring that needs no thank-you. That is the magic.

Nick Foster

A Summer full of fun (and fundraising)

Through a variety of activities from April until August, employees managed to raise dollars for Softchoice Cares:

  • BBQ in Montreal
  • Beer Cart Raffles
  • Biggest Loser Competition Company-Wide
  • Book Fair in St Louis (organizer: Vicky Zeis)
  • Habitat for Humanity Builds in: Montreal, DC, LA/Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Atlanta
  • Windows 7 technical training (organizer: Rebecca Horton)
  • Marra Farms – One Brick Event in Seattle (organizer: Larissa Tietjen)
  • MKG Self Defense class in Seattle (organizer: James Kessenich)
  • NorCrawl event in Atlanta (organizers: Kellie Boggs and Jody Girard)
  • SBM Canada Golf Tournament in Toronto
  • Seattle Golf Tournament (organizer: Lisa Yu)
  • Street Hockey in Toronto (organizer: Peter Cibula)
  • Trivia Night in Seattle and Toronto (organizers: Karly Billstein and Melissa Alvares)
  • World Cup Pool, company-wide (organizer: Peter Cibula)
  • Selling Softchoice Cares T-shirts
  • Seattle Movie Night

Q1 Fundraising Events

Through a variety of activities during Q1, employees managed to raise dollars for the Haiti relief fund. Here is the list of all creative ways employees raised funds while having fun:

  • Basket auction during Launch
  • Selling Rwanda items during Launch
  • Pot luck in Montreal
  • Bake Sales in Toronto (organizers: Finance team and the Purchasing team)
  • Superbowl pool company-wide
  • Book Sale in Toronto (organizer: Dejana Radovic)
  • Chili competition in Toronto (organizers: Six Sigma team)
  • Oscar pool across the company (organizer: Anrenee Hales)
  • Whirlyball activity in Chicago (organizer: Bill McCluskey)
  • March Madness Beer Cart in Toronto (organizer: Kevin Felten)
  • NCAA pool company-wide

A special thanks to the all employees who are donating dollars via regular payroll deductions (your combined contributions for Q1 are going towards the Haiti relief funds). Also, we wish to commend the Toronto Mid-Market team who donated 100% of their Night-Out sales incentive dollars!! Thanks to everyone who volunteered, participated and supported Softchoice Cares events.