Making a Difference, One Paycheque at a Time

When local employees of the Manitoba Hydro office in Carman signed up to donate a little from each paycheque to charity, they had no idea giving back to the community could be so rewarding.  Giving a small contribution every pay period is the easy part.  As part of Hydro’s employee giving plan, workers decide how much they can afford to have deducted from each paycheque.  They can even identify which they wish to support.

“It comes off before you even know you have it,” says Mindy Poulton, one of the employees who helps allocate the local funds.

Co-worker Roger Currie couldn’t agree more.  “We just take the money off each cheque and Hydro matches it.  How hard is that?” he says.  “You can even choose how much to give.”

The difficulty comes when deciding three times a year how to allocate the donations employees have dedicated to their local community.  There are so many valuable volunteer organizations counting on community support for the services they offer.

“We as an office find that’s the hardest part,” Poulton says.  “Who needs it the most?”

But if high gasoline prices mean the Handi Van gets a little boost one time, there’ll be a little something for the United Way, the Christmas Cheer Board, historical society, or any number of local charities the next time.

For these community supporters, having the ability to respond to community needs with regular contributions, is a privilege, not a duty.  Some call it paying it forward.

For Currie, it’s all about giving back.  “I think it’s important to give back to the community,” he says.