McCormick has a longstanding tradition of making a difference in the communities we serve. In 2004, we launched the Community Service Award (CSA) Program, which recognizes employees from around the world who best exemplify McCormick's commitment through volunteer efforts. In the past 16 years, the Community Service Award has given over $650,000 to worthy charities around the globe.
For the 2019 CSA Program, there were five finalists and one grand prize winner. The five 2019 finalists received $5,000 each for their respective charities while the grand prize winner received $25,000 for their charity.
The 2019 grand prize winner is Anna Sobor, Payroll Processor in Lodz, Poland. Anna was nominated for her volunteer work with GAJUSZ Foundation, which provides support for sick children and their families in the Lodz region. The Foundation provides home hospice care, perinatal hospice care, stationary hospice (in-patient) care for orphans, pre-adoption intervention services, and a therapy center. Anna spends 10 to 15 hours per month looking after terminally ill children and often abandoned children, so they don’t feel alone. She has spent two weeks on a vacation with families facing oncological treatment for their children and has cared for hospice patience siblings for whole days or weekends. Anna has volunteered for over five years.
The five finalists and their charities are:
1. Neil Anderson, Sales Operations Manager in Palmwoods, Australia. Neil was nominated for his work with the Metropolitan Caloundra Surf Life Saving Club. Established in 1933, the Metropolitan Caloundra Surf Life Saving Club is made of up volunteers who keep beach goers and swimmers on Kings Beach safe during the peak season. The club is structured with various programs that not only serves to save lives, but also to develop its members with leadership development opportunities. Neil is a patrolling member and has been saving lives since 2005. Neil averages 60 hours of volunteer work over the peak season (September to May), and he also coaches young volunteers in the Junior Surf Life Saving program and coordinates the yearly fundraising drive.
2. Kester Fernandez, Senior Director Application Service Delivery at McCormick India Center. Kester was nominated for his work with The Reach Out and Pass It On (ROPIO) Foundation, which was established in 2008. ROPIO began in urban slums, catering to the educational and developmental needs of children and youth. They conduct learning support for children in government schools, and host creative workshops in art, craft, dance, music, and theatre. In the past 11 years, ROPIO has catered to over 1,000 children. Kester has volunteered for and has been a financial supporter of ROPIO since 2010, and he spends his weekends teaching computer skills, career counseling, and recruiting other volunteers.
3. Filip Krwawnik, HR Business Partner in Stefanowo, Poland. Filip was nominated for his work with House of Lodz orphanage (Dom w Lodzi), which was created in 2006 to take care of physically and mentally handicapped children; providing adoption services, medical care, and rehabilitation. Over the 13 years they have taken care of 30 children. Filip has been a volunteer for six years, and he spends about 16 hours per month playing with and leading activities for the kids, recruiting volunteers, organizing events, and donating necessary items.
4. Vhonda Lewis, Employee Communications & Engagement Manager, Corporate HR in Maryland, USA. Vhonda was nominated for her work with Boys Hope Girls Hope (BHGH) of Baltimore, which was founded in 2002 and is one of 16 affiliates across the United States and Latin America. BHGH helps academically motivated middle and high school students rise above disadvantaged backgrounds and become successful in college and beyond. Their goal is to graduate young people who are physically, emotionally, and academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life, breaking the cycle of poverty. These students join the program to receive support on their journey to college and beyond. Students seek academic resources, extracurricular opportunities, and mentor relationships that BHGH provides. There are two residential homes, a boys’ home and a girls’ home each with capacity for eight scholars.Vhonda has been a volunteer since 2012 and a member of the Board since 2015.In addition to her Board role, Vhonda has organized activities for scholars, directly supported scholars with her time, and leads fundraising events.
5. Ron Taylor, Principal Research Chef - Brand Aromatics, R&D in New Jersey, USA. Ron was nominated for his work with LADACIN Network. Founded in 1949 by a group of parents seeking therapy for their children with cerebral palsy, LADACIN Network’s mission is to provide a continuum of care, including educational, therapeutic, social, residential, and support services to infants, children, and adults with complex physical and developmental disabilities or delays. The organization now serves over 3,500 individual and their families. Ron has been a volunteer since 2018, and speaks with clients about cooking, adaptive techniques, and the use of spices. He donates at least 10 hours per month teaching and participates in fundraising.