Creating memories with the girls of Untal Untal

Wednesday night we went to Kuta – a main Bali tourist spot – for a going away dinner for Wayne from Developing World Connections. It was outstanding the difference between here and where we are staying near the orphanage Untal Untal. Immediately everything was more Westernized – lots of nice stores, bars and restaurants.  I now know why people who only see this side of Bali think it’s a resort island with noone living in poverty or in need of help. But the group and I quickly learned that the glitz rubs off quickly as you drive more inland to where we’re staying. There’s  poverty all around us. Right outside our walls are rice fields with workers sleeping in shantys. The streets are crowded, dirty and loud. There are small store fronts with very few products and garbage piles littering the streets.

The orphanage Untal Untal is a little haven from this world. Even though it is right off the street in the midst of motorcycle chaos, it has a calm created by the wonderful caring of director Tina. She welcomes us every day with a huge smile and her enthusiasm is infectious. These 72 girls are very fortunate to have her. [Read more…]

Volunteering for Operation Sack Lunch Puts Feeding the Homeless in a New Light

There’s a common misconception that if a disadvantaged person needs food, they will eat anything. Operation Sack Lunch (OSL), a local Seattle not-for-profit, is turning this notion on its head.

This past August I spent a day volunteering for OSL along with 11 other Seattle Softchoice employees. OSL operates on the premise that “nutritional excellence is a right we are born to, not a privilege we earn”. With this guiding principle they have provided more than 2.9 million hot meals and sack lunches to homeless and no or low income people who call Seattle their home. [Read more…]

Singing for a great cause

Seattle Karaoke night: We love our Softchoice managers but sometimes it is great to make them get up on stage and sing in front of everyone. Employees donated money on 9 different managers that they would like to see sing karaoke. We also had a top performer round and group round. After lots of fun on stage there was close to $1500 raised.

The 2010 Softchoice Cares Sri Lanka Mission

This year the Softchoice Cares board made the decision to revisit the first location to where Softchoice Cares all started, Sri Lanka. 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 companywide and Softchoice Cares was born.

The decision to go to Sri Lanka went through a lot of debate and the board felt that revisiting Tangalle, Sri Lanka would have a largest impact on the employees of Softchoice.

The goal of the 2010 mission is to:

  • Build a computer lab at Tangalle Primary School
  • Educate and train teachers and students on computer basics
  • Build a training facility
  • Participate in a Habitat for Humanity build in Galle
  • Revisit the location(s) from the previous board

This year the entire board is participating in the mission. Additional participants to the mission include:

  • David MacDonald – Softchoice President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Rachelle Goddard
  • Cédric Morel Delarue

Fundraising and creativity in action

Outdoor Movie Night: Seattle held a successful outdoor movie night on their office deck which overlooks the Puget Sound. The event allowed around 50 employees, friends and families enjoy a fun movie, BBQ and a beautiful sunset while raising money for Softchoice Cares.

Raising the roof all summer long

During the summer of 2010 the western regional offices scheduled 5 different volunteer days to help build residential homes for Habitat for Humanity. There was some great team bonding and new skills were found while helping complete homes for families who would not normally have access to this.