In 2015 SITA Europe once again helped to sponsor Dreamflight, a charity which takes seriously ill and disabled children on a chartered flight to the theme parks of Orlando, Florida every October. Along with many other organizations, SITA contributes to this event by sponsoring a page in Dreamflight's "in-flight" magazine which also serves as an activity page for the kids.
Here is a round-up of local charity and community giving events held at our European locations throughout the year.
In June 2015 a group from SITA Brussels organized a volunteer day out painting rooms at the local Levenslust (translation: spirit or zest for life) children's shelter. With funding help from the Rotary Club for paint and decorating supplies, SITA provided the muscle and worked through the day to repaint the living room, kitchen and seven additional rooms.
A Friday in August 2015 was a little cooler for SITA employees based in Geneva when the local VIVA team organized an ’above the knee’ dress code event, encouraging shorts and other cool costumes at the office. The project’s purpose was to raise awareness about gender issues and domestic violence as well as raising funds for Solidarite-Femmes, an association providing support to abused women and a shelter when they are forced to leave their home.
The Letterkenny team took some time out in July to prepare and pack school backpacks for the international charity Mary's Meals. Over 50 backpacks were donated and each backpack was filled with pens, pencils, copy books, crayons, felt tips, sharpeners and much more. Mary's Meals is an international movement to set up school feeding projects in communities where extreme poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.
SITA London held its annual Easter raffle at the end of March, raising 419 GBP (US$617) for children's cancer charity Christopher's Smile. Winners took home generous hampers of Easter goodies donated by staff. Then, to help everyone recover from all that Easter chocolate indulgence, the local VIVA UK charity committee put out free fresh fruit in all the kitchens and sent around tips on local walks and rambles in honor of World Health Day on 7 April.
In June, staff from our London Heathrow Compass Centre location put their tech expertise to good use setting up an IT suite for the Green Corridor Learning and Development Centre, a charity that helps disadvantaged 14 to 25 year olds gain access to employment, education and training through practical environmental land based learning.
SITA London and building neighbors made a wonderful show of support for UK charity Breast Cancer Care, raising £578.51 (US$901) at a Strawberry Tea and Raffle in late July. Also in July, SITA London welcomed three groups of young people as part of our continuing support of NCS The Challenge, a program supporting local young people to develop life and work skills.
In August, alas, it rained in London. Then it rained some more. But nothing could dampen the spirits of local staff as they held their annual Summer Fete & BBQ for children's cancer charity Christopher's Smile. In total the 2015 event raised 1,462 GBP (US$2,243).
In September, once again London staff joined together in support of a great charity that helps both those living with cancer and families in their time of need – Macmillan Cancer Care. Two of our London sites held coffee mornings raising a total of 1,532 GBP (US$2,072).
In October 2015, London staff got involved in Langar Week, a special event celebrating the uniquely Sikh concept of langar (rhymes with hunger), i.e. free food for all, regardless of faith, gender, age or social status. Delicious vegetarian food was served throughout the day by a cheerful team of Langar Week volunteers. The response and donations on the day were overwhelming: £281 (US$433) in spontaneous cash donations and more than £100 (US$154) of donated food, all of which was passed on to the local Hillingdon Foodbank.
Several employees from our Malta office took part in the annual President's Bike Ride in August 2015. Their participation contributed to the event's fundraising total of more than 25,000 EUR (US$27,850) collected for the national charity, the Malta Community Chest Fund.
In March, the VIVA France charity committee supported a theater event for the charity 'La Cami Sport & Cancer'. SITA staff prepared cakes and other treats which were sold at the show during the interval, and staff volunteers worked as ushers, program sellers and hosts for the evening. In total they raised 2,492 EUR (US$2,700) to help improve and expand La Cami's sports and activities program.
In June, a total of 40,000 Parisiennes took part in the epic 6.8 km run from the Eiffel Tower around the center of Paris – all in aid of fundraising for breast cancer research. Despite the rain, 18 SITA women participated (17 from the Paris office and 1 from SITA London). The SITA team arrived 203 out of 587 team challenges and raised a total of 1,670 EUR (US$1,900).
Also in June, staff from SITA Paris office joined 3,800 runners in one of the greatest charity events in France, The Heroes Race. SITA participants raised 2,000 EUR (US$2,200) for La Cami’s sports program.
In January, a group of volunteers at SITA Prague turned a conference room into workshop for handcrafting brooches to be sold and worn on "Orange Days" to show support for international United Nations campaign, "UNiTE To End Violence Against Women". The crafting activity was organized through Lekorice, a volunteering center at the local Thomayerova Hospital.
Prague staff held a number of other fundraising events to support the volunteering center, Lekorice, at Thomayerova Hospital including a clothing and toy collection, a furniture donation, and an Easter egg decorating session in April.
Every Friday afternoon in February and March, groups of two to four SITA Rome staff volunteered their time at the Comunita di Sant' Egidio soup kitchen, helping to serve food to people in need. The community has a network of soup kitchens where the food service is done entirely by volunteers who use their free time in order to help out at these facilities and other initiatives.
A group of 18 SITA employees from our Rome office took part in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in May 2015 to raise public awareness of breast cancer. The SITA Rome participation raised nearly 400 EUR (US$456) for the cause.
Also in May our Rome office launched a fundraiser to support Jay Nepal, a group of volunteers in Nepal working to help the victims of the serious earthquake earlier in the year. At the end of two weeks the Rome office had collected 540 EUR (US$609) in much needed aid. In December, SITA Rome staff continued their support with a charity Christmas sale of Jay Nepal branded gifts including t-shirts, mugs and bags sewn by hand by the women of the Bodgaun village in Nepal. In total they raised a generous 700 EUR (US$770).