Heroes of the CB Group …

Group recognises the heroes among its staff for Global Volunteer Month

Not all heroes wear capes, fly, or are from the planet Krypton. In commemorating Global Volunteer Month in April, the CB Group is celebrating the everyday, down to Earth people whose amazing feats of kindness and volunteerism mark them out as life-changing heroes too.

The CB Group, through its annual internal awards programme, highlights employees who have shown their altruistic spirit by volunteering or supporting a cause.

That special recognition award is coupled with an award of $100,000 personal cash prize and $200,000 to further reinvest into their community outreaches or donate to a charity of their choosing. 

Kay-Dian Smith, CB Group customer care coordinator. 

Awardees Kay-Dian Smith and Peter Minott are leading by example when it comes to shaping the minds of tomorrow. 

Smith operates a homework help centre in her Waltham Park community that focuses on academic assistance.

The customer care coordinator said she felt compelled to act when she saw that the children in her community were without the kind of help and guidance they needed.

In response, she has dedicated her time and energy and even a part of her home twice weekly to facilitate these children. When she first had the concept back in 2014, she began by teaching a few students on her verandah, however, this space was not sufficient for the larger numbers she began to facilitate. 

To solve that problem she moved into an old disused basic school building her mother had operated years before. It however had a substantially damaged roof which she was able to replace with the help of CB Group’s internal awards programme.

“There were more damage to the building than I had even known, but with the money that I got, my aim was to first and foremost rebuild the roof. A part of the roof fell out and we couldn't use that side of the building because when it rains it becomes flooded,” she remarked. 

She further added that she aspires to organise workshops on self development for the children in her community. These will include discussions on careers, hygiene, conflict resolution, as well as mock work interviews.

“Volunteerism is something close to my heart because it changes lives. Everybody might not have the same passion, but maybe you like to teach or cook, but there is something inside of us and it is very important that we use our knowledge, talents and skills to help someone else,” Smith advised.

Minott, who functions as a Production Supervisor during the week, took the negative ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic and identified a gap to be filled as he provided solutions to the disruption of regular classes for the children in his hometown Palmers Cross, Clarendon.  

(centre) Peter Minott and the students a part of the Anointed Word of Hope and Truth’s after school programme were all smiles after a successful lesson.  

The Anointed Word of Hope and Truth’s after school programme caters to students aged 5-10 years and focuses on maths, science and information technology, as well as fundamental skills like reading and writing. 

Using the reward from the CB Group’s internal awards programme, Minott said he was able to buy tablets and laptops so that now, as many as 10 children can have the devices to use during class time. 

According to him, volunteering is a natural course of action. 

“I volunteer because if I was in a situation of need I would want someone to help… I’m just doing something that I'm expecting others to do of their own free will,” he explained. 

“When we think about volunteerism, many people really want to… but they want to do this and do that and are thinking big and then say ‘We don’t have enough money or enough clothes’. But volunteerism is not about how much you can give but the fact that you gave in the first place,” he indicated.

Community outreach coordinator Roxanne Isaacs is another hero within CB Group doing impactful work. She's a part of the benevolent team Friends Who Care who spend their time giving back to three of the Mustard Seed Communities — Dare to Care, Martha’s House and Matthew 25:40 — in a variety of ways.

(centre) Shandreta Kay, senior supervisor for the Mustard Seed Communities, with the Friends Who Care team from CB Group, (from left) Newton Brown, Nadine Hayden,Charmaine Fleming-McKoy, Roxanne Isaacs, and Machel Wedderburn.  

From the donation of goods, appliances, and chiefly their time and attention, the team is dedicated to forming genuine close bonds with the residents at these institutions. They also host quarterly birthday parties, provide mentoring to the children and discuss important topics with them. 

The 11-person hero team was formed some 10 years ago for an Easter project that has since become the gift that keeps on giving. Isaacs indicated that the support from CB Group has allowed for well needed infrastructural assistance across the three homes.

For all the good they do and the happiness they bring to the residents of Mustard Seed Communities, they get a similar warm and fuzzy being able to help those in need. 

“Oh my God, it's an awesome feeling!” Isaacs exclaimed. “It is fulfilling and gives you that joy and proud feeling to know that you are a part of something that is impactful and also seeing the joy on the faces of the persons you help”.

She continued, “My team is a great help and everybody's always willing to come and give a helping hand in whatever projects we're doing. We believe that to ‘whom much is given much is expected’ and collectively we can make a significant difference in the lives of persons we interact with when we volunteer”.

Sharing similar sentiments as her philanthropic colleagues, Issacs said, “We want to say a very big ‘Thank You!’ to CB Group for this recognition and the support. It is great to know that not only the people that we help appreciate what we do”.

CB Group talent development manager Shannon Jones said, “CB Group is all about giving back, it’s a big part of our culture of sustainability where we focus on empowering people through social good. This isn't who we are just at work, but also outside of work. So we’re excited to support and celebrate these three top volunteers who captured the spirit of our culture and what it means to really make a difference in their communities.”

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