The People of CEF: Sue Dick
By John Grant, CEF Contributor Sue Dick - CEF’s Chair of our Projects Pillar - has made volunteering a priority despite an incredibly busy professional portfolio as the Director of IT Service Management with McCarthy Tetrault. In fact, Sue’s employer encourages and rewards its employees to volunteer as much as possible through their Corporate Responsibility Program that is linked to the MT Foundation.
Aside from standard charitable donations made by the organization itself, McCarthy Tetrault has a program called Making a Difference Together.
“Employees are granted one day of paid leave per calendar year to perform community service. A Volunteer Recognition Award also recognizes the contributions of five employees who have shown outstanding community leadership. $10,000 is divided between the five employees to donate towards organizations of their choosing,” explains Sue, who has consistently qualified and received the annual award, and has generously donated a portion towards CEF.
Here is Sue’s story.
CEF: Why did you decide to begin volunteering?
I have always had a soft spot for vulnerable children. When it became clear that I was not going to have a family, I decided to look into volunteer opportunities. I knew I wanted to build a school in a developing nation, so I decided to work with five non profits to find a fit.
CEF: Which other organizations do you volunteer with?
I have been a Big Sister for six years, have gone on two builds with Habitat for Humanity, lead the Run for the Cure campaign at the firm and taught Spanish to indigenous children in Guatemala through Global Village International. This year I used some of the funds from the award to take my nephew with me on a Habitat build.
CEF: What do you find to be the largest benefits of volunteering?
I have learned a tremendous amount about development work and also about non-profit organizations. The people I have met through CEF have helped me grow tremendously. I have also had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Zambia and Portugal.
CEF: Why did you choose to volunteer with CEF?
I was looking for an organization that I could partner with to raise funds to build a school. I was able to raise about $20,000 through friends and family and fulfilled a dream of having a school built with those funds. I was also attracted to the funding model and the energy of the people involved. I travelled to Guatemala before I was a member of the board and had an amazing opportunity to be there with two other photographers (Rob Daley and Chris Ryan).
CEF: Why do you choose to allocate some of your funds towards CEF?
Because it is such a great organization and dear to my heart. I donate the other funds to Habitat to provide an opportunity for a staff member to go on a build. Providing others with the opportunity to give back has been incredibly rewarding.
CEF: What has been your most memorable moment as a volunteer with CEF to date?
This is a tough one. There have been a lot of great moments. I recall being at the school opening in Zambia where a mother of one of the students shared her gratitude for our support.
All of us at CEF would like to thank Sue for her incredible generosity and inspiring contributions!