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Where there is a will, there is a way – giving back during COVID-19

Elias AbuGhazaleh, Staff Product ManagerElias AbuGhazaleh, Staff Product ManagerDoing good and giving back has long been a passion for me. I started volunteering during my college years with school and community events and have remained active in non-profit activities.

As the pandemic’s impact on businesses, people’s jobs, and overall well-being grew, so did the need for volunteerism. But the unprecedented pandemic made volunteering more challenging while also trying not to risk my health or the people around me.

Working at the Veritas’ Heathrow, Florida office, I’m proud to be surrounded by employees who support events and activities chaired by our local Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Working with Heathrow’s site leadership, our ERG champions and I have a front-row seat at the exponential needs of the community.

During 2019, our Roseville, Minnesota site hosted a Pro Bono Workshop. After reading their story, I knew this was something that we wanted to do in Heathrow. Many non-profits in our community where the ERGs had previously volunteered or assisted could use our continued support.

Working with the Veritas Corporate Responsibility team and supporting our site leadership, we embarked on the journey to host our first Pro Bono Workshop in Heathrow. We launched into action, signed up to volunteer, and had non-profits reply with interest in participating. The date was identified, all the approvals were in place, and then BOOM, COVID-19 happened. All our plans quickly got put on hold. COVID-19 impacted the non-profit organizations’ ability to participate at an in-person event. It was time for the ERGs to pause, reflect, and find another way. The determination and willpower of the group to not give up on our community-led us to a very successful Virtual Pro Bono Workshop.

Three non-profit organizations, A Gift for Teaching, Leadership Seminole, and the Positive Flow Foundation, assigned four Veritas employees to scope a project in advance of the workshop and clearly define what they wanted to accomplish at the event. Post the event, the non-profits left with updated tools or processes they could implement for their organizations.

When the pandemic leaves us feeling helpless, it is great to know that we found a way to give back to our community when the need has been the greatest. I’m proud to be working for a company that enables me to do good.