I’m a firm believer that the more you give, the more you’ll get in return – whether it’s knowing you’ve made someone’s life easier, or contributed to a healthier planet for us all.
Watching the Paralympics this year, I noticed that a lot of the Australian team (who performed fantastically!) had Cerebral Palsy. It brought a tear to my eye, because CGI’s participation in the 2020 STEPtember challenge had raised money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. It was heartwarming to think we may have helped in some way in getting these amazing athletes to that gold medal podium.
This year, we went for it again: alongside a number of my CGI colleagues, I challenged myself to walk 10,000 steps each day in September. I wanted to improve on my 2020 performance, get a better pair of shoes (that wouldn’t wear out like they did last year!) and most importantly, raise more funds for this worthy cause.
Beating last year’s performance
Our fundraising efforts go a long way towards improving the lives of people living with cerebral palsy. Knowing we were doing this for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance really spurred me on. I was particularly inspired by Ben Tudhope, who fulfilled his lifelong dream of representing Australia.
I remember when I initially heard about STEPtember, my first thought was “Can I actually do that many steps a day?” However, once I realised it would just take a bit of commitment, I got really into it. The STEPtember application and website keeps track of everyone’s steps, from individuals, to teams, to the whole organisation.
This year, I once more joined a team from CGI that was split across three states, with some in lockdown. The challenge was a great motivation to get out of the house and get fitter, all for a great cause.
I split my sessions into smaller chunks and averaged between 25,000 to 30,000 steps a day! I even walked while attending meetings that didn’t require me looking at a screen. My customers liked hearing the bird noises in the background. All that said though, it was nice to have a rest in October!
Our CGI teams did amazingly
There was some stiff competition, with weekly leaderboards changing throughout the month. As a team we walked over 15,000 km – longer than a lap of Australia!
Together we raised over $11,400, which is enough to fund either two therapy telepractices, or an eye-gaze device that enables communication and independence for people who are non-verbal. I have a relative who is non-verbal so I know what a difference this type of device can make.
Our HR team did an amazing job of promoting STEPtember throughout CGI, with several prizes along the way to help keep us motivated and connected. We had a scavenger hunt walk, and prizes for the best team name, biggest fundraisers and highest step counts.
Volunteering at CGI
The philosophy throughout CGI is that whatever skills we have, there’s always a way we can help people. One of our core values is Corporate Social Responsibility and we’re all given one paid day per year to use as a volunteer day.
We’ve been heavily involved in things like food shelters for disadvantaged people, and the Australian bushfire responses. The company donated $40,000 to support those impacted by the fires, and individual members collaborated to personally donate an additional sum of over $5,000.
We are encouraged to give back a lot to the community and the best part is, it seems to inspire other people outside our organisation to do the same. A customer of mine recently set up their own fundraising initiative within their company after seeing what we were doing at CGI. That was a very proud moment for me!
If CSR is an important value to you, explore career opportunities at CGI! Head to our careers page for our latest job openings.