Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dec 14th, 2010: Something Nice Happened at Work Today

I never blog about my job or the company I work for, but today I am! I work at a large International Mutual Fund company, called Franklin Templeton, and have been there for 13 years in January (yikes)! Company leaders make it a point to encourage employees to volunteer in their communities and a lot of my colleagues do just that, in many different organizations; be they related to environment, people or animals. I love that aspect of the company. In 2006, a company leader who always made it a point to be involved with different good causes passed away, and an annual award is given out in his name to an employee who demonstrates a high level of involvement with local volunteerism. This is a very prestigious award; the person who wins it is given $10,000 for the organization they volunteer with.
Today, at the company-wide meeting with at least 3000 attending from various locations all over the world, the 2010 recipient was announced. This year’s winner lives and works in Hong Kong, and donates his time to a local organization that works with those who have Cognitive Disabilities. I can not begin to describe how this made me feel.  When the award was given out last year, I hardly paid attention because I assumed it would go to a person who supports a cause that was a lot more ‘glamorous’ than one for people who have cognitive disabilities (oh, me of little faith).
Up to not long ago (unfortunately still happening in parts of the world), those with cognitive disabilities were mostly ignored by society. Thinking about those who have a cognitive disability (or having a baby with one) scares the crap out of many people, and it is easiest to push any such thoughts to the back of the mind, and hope it doesn't happen to you (at least, that is how it was for me before Annelies was born.  I do not assume all feel the same way I did...). In front of a huge audience of people, a young man who donates his effort and time to a school where people with cognitive disabilities come to learn, play and develop to their fullest potential was put in the spotlight in front of several thousand colleagues across the globe. I am so thankful this large group of people got to see that people like my daughter are absolutely worth the time of day and so much more. The moment I realized what the organization this person volunteered for was all about (they showed a video), tears came and I felt so good at the same time, so validated in a way, on behalf of my daughter, her friends (the ones she does not know she has in Hong Kong and all around the world), and us parents. (Thankfully I was in a huge auditorium, and I am a good silent crier!) I had no idea this kind of thing would evoke such feelings, and I never, ever expected these feelings to happen at work, of all places!


  1. Oh sooooo wonderful! What is the name of the organization??? SOOOO happy this happened!!!

  2. Wow, that's wonderful! And so cool that your company does that. :-) My company is small, but our new HR manager is thinking of instituting some sort of community service program so employees can dedicate some time to good causes outside of work.