VIVA highlights how businesses can give back for International Charity Day.
VIVA is marking International Charity Day on September 5 with its gift to an agency assisting Canada’s most vulnerable.
The Toronto-based Scandinavian teaware maker donated 17,000 drinkware products to help Ontario’s homeless and less privileged with a gift to the Ontario chapter of The Salvation Army.
“These items will be used in our ministry units — shelters, churches, hostels and our offices — to help us provide services to our clients while helping us to reduce waste, minimize costs and achieve one of our key sustainability goals of moving away from disposable products, especially single-use plastics,” says Dan Millar, Divisional Director of Community Partnerships & Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director. “Salvation Army is very appreciative of the donation.”
In total, up to 50 ministries supporting 120 locations distributed all across Ontario from Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls will benefit from the donation of Emma and Laura Anytime Cups valued at $280K. The Salvation Army’s mission includes among, other goals, supporting people who are homeless and those facing food insecurity.
VIVA Founder Peng Lin says giving back to the community is a pillar in the company’s values.
“The community who buys our products has helped drive our success, and we feel it’s important to support that community in return however we can. It’s a virtuous circle. It’s important for businesses such as ours to recognize that,” says Lin.
This isn’t the first time VIVA has given back. During the company’s first Kickstarter campaign in spring 2020, just as lockdowns were happening around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lin came up with the idea of donating from the Kickstarter campaign to the ongoing efforts to fight the pandemic. Ten percent of profits from each pledge of a Recharge Pro travel mug Gratitude Pack was donated to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Especially now, as everyone grapples with the lingering impact of the pandemic, charitable organizations like The Salvation Army have been hit especially hard — from raising funds to delivering services and engaging their volunteer base — as lockdowns forced them to rethink their operations.
“We had to pivot how we serviced food to meet people where they are. That meant moving away from dining rooms to mobile units, expanding food bank services to also offer home deliver of food hampers, and moving our church services online. We’ve only just been able to restart our volunteering program,” says Salvation Army’s Millar.
While financial contributions are always gladly received, there are other ways businesses can become involved with charities for International Charity Day.
“Businesses have an opportunity to think broadly about how they can become involved,” says Salvation Army Divisional Secretary for Public Relations Glenn van Gulik. “They can volunteer their teams’ time. Donating the products they produce or services they offer can also help the families and individuals who rely on The Salvation Army, while benefiting their organization as well. It can build teamwork, makes a connection between the company and the larger community, and the employees see the products they produce used in a different way. That has a positive, tangible impact on them.”
To that end, the Salvation Army is launching themed Hope Kits this year such as a back to school kit, hygiene kit and a cleanup kit, the latter which would be delivered to people displaced by disaster such as the wildfires raging through Western Canada or tornadoes like the one which touched down in Barrie, Ontario earlier this summer.