Excitement builds as Softchoice Cares prepares for Rajasthan, India


Softchoice Cares has carried out a number of international projects over its 10-year history, including ones in Sri Lanka, Bali, Kenya, Rwanda, and most recently, India.

In October 2016, the employee-led Softchoice Cares board is returning to Rajasthan, India to build on and expand the work that was completed during our last international project 18 months prior in 2015.

For most of us about to embark on this amazing adventure, it will likely be the first, last, and only time we are lucky enough to experience something of this magnitude. What is everyone thinking, feeling, or hoping for as we depart on such an incredible journey?

Let’s find out…

“I couldn’t be more grateful to be given the chance to go to India, and help make a positive impact in a local community that isn’t afforded the same opportunities as us in North America. To me, there is something about not knowing what to expect and how you will respond to it, for being somewhere completely different and out of your element, but knowing that others will benefit. All this elicits a feeling of excitement, and humbleness.”

– Mike Di Fonzo, Account Executive, Toronto

“I’m excited and uncertain. This will be my first experience overseas, and I don’t know what to expect of it. All I know is I’m ready to take on whatever is coming at me!”

– Manny Diaz, Territory Sales Rep, Chicago

“How will things be different? How will they be the same?”

– Maris Benz, Managed Services Advisor, Chicago

“I am excited and nervous! This is a crazy new experience, and I am pumped to take on the challenge, but I feel the pressure about making this a success.”

– Kathleen D’Sylva, Project Manager, Oakville

“My feeling this week can be summed up in one word – grateful. Grateful for such an amazing opportunity to be able to give back in a big way, and grateful to everyone at Softchoice for having such big hearts to support this initiative.”

– Brittany Pepper, Account Executive, Oakville

“Finally! Months of lead up to this project, and it’s finally within arm’s length. The excitement, worry, wonder, it’s all here and happening now, not weeks or months away, but like, my bag is packed NOW.”

– Bradley Peacock, Purchasing Supervisor, Toronto

“I am feeling slightly nervous, but at the same time looking forward to an amazing cultural experience.”

– Chad Cassidy, Services Operations Manager, Toronto

“I don’t think I have a true appreciation for how good we have it here. I’m looking forward to seeing how so much of the world lives day to day, and bringing back the stories and perspective to my friends, family and of course, my Softchoice family.”

– Nicole Howard, Territory Sales Manager, Chicago

“Forty-eight hours until I board a plane with Softchoice Cares! The yin and yang of my excitement and anxiety has taken me on a daily high and low while juggling the non-stop barrage and demands of life here at home. ‘Am I prepared, have I forgotten anything, how will everything get done while I’m gone? Take a deep breath, exhale and keep checking off my to-do list.’”

– Kathleen Simard, Account Executive, Philadelphia

“I’m grateful that I have the resources to climb inside of a giant metal tube that weighs hundreds of tons and travel to the other side of the planet in hours. I’m grateful that I have the chance to go back to this insane, loud, dirty, beautiful land and do something good. Nothing, and I mean nothing, on this planet will make you feel as vigorously alive as walking through an Indian city. I’m grateful that I’ll get to watch 20 other people experience this eye-opening, exciting place for the first time.”

– Matthew Wolf, Account Executive, Seattle

“I’m excited to share this experience with colleagues, to personally learn more about each other while making a difference, and to create positive change.”

– Marisa Ponce, Executive Assistant, Atlanta

“I want to be open to everything I see and I want to be completely present for everything we do. I wonder – and I’ve been wondering since we picked Rajasthan, India as our international project – how this will change me, and how I will see the world when we get back.”

– Joshua Bussiere, Field Engagement Manager, Chicago

“I’m super excited, fully realizing that I don’t know what’s going to happen or how I will respond, but knowing that no matter what – I will returned changed.”

– Krista Ocker, Development Coach, Denver

“I feel so honored to contribute, on behalf of everyone at Softchoice, to helping individuals outside our daily view. Our mission signifies how much everyone matters. Through our efforts we will make a difference in people’s lives and be even more connected.”

– David Shapiro, Sales Manager, Seattle

“I am full of hope for the potential that we can unleash.”

– Quentin Kong, Softchoice Cares Executive Sponsor, Toronto

“I’m looking forward to making a difference to those in need.”

– Craig Taylor, Softchoice Cares Vendor Partner/Sponsor, Toronto

The Softchoice Cares board will leave for Rajasthan, India on Oct. 7, 2016. Follow us along on our mission through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and get engaged with the conversation! #SCCaresIndia2016

About Michael Di Fonzo

Mike Di Fonzo is an Account Executive in Toronto, and has been a Softchoice employee since 2008. He is also a member of the 2016-17 Softchoice Cares Board.