Stepping Up & Helping Out During COVID-19

Written by Annastasia Liu

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Tough times have a way of bringing out our true colours. For Team Tangerine, rallying together and supporting the community was an automatic response amid uncertain times created by COVID-19.

Tangerine has shown that helping out is an instinctive part of their culture, including stepping up in a big way to help their partners in the community and those who are most vulnerable.

Authentically Supporting Community Agencies

Throughout the bank's history, Tangerine has developed longstanding relationships with local community agencies such as Youth Without Shelter, The 519, FoodShare Toronto and Ernestine's Women's Shelter.

"We're so connected to the community and giving back," explains Pam Fabisiak, Community Manager at Tangerine. "We differentiate ourselves by giving back authentically to our community and that means more than donating dollars. We really get in there."

Tangerine employees regularly volunteer throughout the year with each of the charities, like redecorating rooms for youth or creating safe spaces like a new basketball court, and they've already volunteered over 2,000 hours of their time since November 2019.

When public health advisories were issued to stay home in order to slow the spread of the virus, Tangerine contacted community agencies to find out how they could help.

"When we reached out, they made it clear that food service was a huge need, since the shelters were at capacity," says Fabisiak. "We've been providing weekly brown bag lunches to those in need at the Shelters and Food Banks and so far over 2,500 lunches have been delivered."

Celebrating Together

On April 27, 2020, Tangerine celebrated its 23rd birthday and took the opportunity to spread some cheer. To celebrate the occasion, Tangerine donated $23,000 each to four local community agencies and sent them a mini birthday celebration with balloons, cake pops and lunches.

As Tangerine CEO Gillian Riley shared: "These charities work to better our community every single day – and we couldn't think of a better way to mark our special day than to show our appreciation to these organizations by giving back."

Helping Out on a Bigger Scale

As the official bank of the Toronto Raptors, Tangerine has been able to help out in ways they couldn't have anticipated.

"When MLSE approached us about the 'Bring Toronto back to its feet' initiative to make the largest kitchen and asked if we were passionate about it, it made complete sense," said Eric Nachman, Director of Marketing Partnerships at Tangerine. "We saw it as part of our civic duty to find the resources to help support one of our biggest partners and Toronto with this initiative. It actually mirrors some of the other work we're already doing with our other charities."

Through the collective teamwork of MLSE, Bell, BMO, Rogers, Scotiabank and Tangerine, over 100,000 lunches have been prepared and delivered to frontline workers and those facing food insecurity in Toronto. "Toronto had a huge win last year, so helping out with this initiative was about bringing back that city pride during a difficult time," says Nachman.

Small Gestures, Big Impact

Individually, Tangerine employees have found ways to support their community, encourage one another and spread hope. District Manager, Sandra Ayau in Quebec created handmade bracelets for frontline workers as a token of appreciation for their amazing commitment, especially over the past few weeks.

Supporting each other and the community is an ongoing commitment that Team Tangerine is dedicated to during good times and challenging times. It's simply a part of the culture and a part of what it means to be Team Tangerine.

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