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Here’s how you can become an everyday hero

October 20, 2021

In keeping with this year’s superhero theme, and to inject some fun into the campaign, members of our management team and the union agreed to dress up as superheroes for this poster. There’s a contest running for employees to identify who from the management and union teams are pictured in this superhero mock up. Image: Vale Archive

Our colleagues at our operations in Sudbury have kicked off their United Way campaign by asking employees to donate and “become everyday superheroes.” 

Behind this year’s superhero campaign are two real-life superheroes: co-chairs Tina Vincent, Smelter operator, and Patricia Caine, administrator to our chief operating officer.

Tina will be familiar to many as she has been a United Way co-chair for 10 years, and a member of the United Way’s board of directors since 2013. While this year is Patricia’s first as co-chair, she’s not new to volunteering her time to community causes. She works with an informal group of neighbours and friends that distributes clothing, coffee and snacks to people in need, and has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for about 20 years. 

Tina, who has been seconded for the success of the campaign, enjoys volunteering for many reasons including having a front-row seat in how our dollars are spent. “I like knowing how the United Way disperses the money, how they allocate it and why.” 

For Patricia, “it just feels good to help” she said simply. 

Getting back on track after COVID-19

The United Way supports a slew of critical programs from Meals on Wheels to children’s after school programs, hospice care, programs for the disabled and organizations for victims of domestic violence. 

The dynamic duo are committed to exceeding last year’s total of $330,000 (which includes Vale’s donation of 50 cents on the dollar). Admittedly, 2020 was challenging given that COVID-19 restrictions curtailed the usual in-person presentations, guest speakers and events, not to mention the economic uncertainty brought by the pandemic. But it didn’t deter our employees’ spirit of giving! 

‘The seeing is believing bus tour’ 

This year, in keeping with the COVID-19 protocols, small in-person presentations have resumed along with virtual ones, along with bus tours, which Tina and Patricia are excited about. Vale employees are bussed to local agencies that benefit from our donations, and then go inside to see the inner workings. This was a successful pilot project that was launched in 2019, but put on hold last year due to COVID. 

“Some of the bus tour participants emerge from the local agencies in tears,” said Tina. “We call it the Seeing is Believing Bus Tour because when you see with your own eyes, it’s totally different than hearing a story from somebody.”  

Prize draw, pure local  

Another focus this year is sourcing items from local businesses for the prize draw, which in turn supports the Sudbury area. “We used to purchase NHL tickets and Porter Airline gift cards but with COVID last year, that wasn’t possible so we went all local,” Tina said. 

It has gone so well they have decided to stick with the homegrown strategy for the foreseeable future. “We have purchased all local gift cards and prizes and a lot of businesses have donated gifts as well,” added Patricia.

If you want to enter into the prize draw, donation cards must be submitted by December 16. The draw will take place the next day, December 17.  

There are many ways to donate:

Alternatively:  

  • Open this link in Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge only. Or 
  • Scan this QR code on any supporting device:

Or

If needed, donors can stop payments with no penalty. Payments also stop automatically in the event of a work stoppage or sick leave. 

Here is a background that you can use on Teams (to download, click here): 

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