Employees giving back to their communities

Giving By Emily Larson Feb 22, 2021

At the Western Union Foundation, we believe that enhanced job skills lead to better employment and brighter futures. Western Union employees inspire and help us achieve our goal of impacting lives in our communities and around the world.

We have tremendous support from Western Union employees who are motivated to do good. Employees generously engage through volunteering, direct giving, and our gift-match program to make a difference in areas that matter most to them. Through an employee program, WU Votes, employees are empowered to nominate and select a community nonprofit organization that makes an impact to receive a Foundation grant.

In 2020, 64% of Western Union employees engaged with the Foundation and supported our mission through charitable giving and volunteering. Due to COVID-19, Western Union leaders and Foundation champions found themselves needing to think creatively about innovative ways to engage and inspire colleagues to donate and volunteer.

One example of charitable innovation came from the global Platform Operations team in a “Stationery Biking Around The World” activity where employees in two countries rode stationary bikes for 5 hours each on an open Zoom line to raise money for the Foundation. John W. Dyer, Head of Platform Operations & Support Services, said of the event, “As we all know, 2020 was not a typical year and we seized this opportunity to bring everyone together around the world. Two team members, one in Lithuania and the other in Denver, committed to riding their stationary bikes at home to help raise donations for the Western Union Foundation. Not only did they help raise donations, but they also helped unify our global team for a great cause.”  

Three employees on the global Compliance team also implemented a “Western Union Digital Transfer Olympics,” in which employees used Western Union’s digital products to move donations from employee to employee around the world, ultimately transferring the final deposit to the Western Union Foundation.

Employees also donated their talents, mostly virtually, to organizations in their communities. One global effort enabled employees to write virtual letters to COVID-19 healthcare heroes and individuals isolated by COVID-19, and employees in the United States volunteered their expertise as mentors for young adults in the Watson Institute’s Basecamp program, among other activities from employees worldwide.

Elizabeth Roscoe, Western Union Foundation Executive Director and Western Union Global Head of Corporate Brand and Purpose, reflected on the charitable efforts of employees in 2020, “I am truly amazed by the commitment of our employees who gave back to their communities in significant ways during such an unprecedented year. When the needs of the world were so great, employees continually answered the call to support the most vulnerable among us with their time and talent, and I could not be more proud of their efforts. WU employees care deeply about their communities.”

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