Since 2014, Boccard Pipe Fabricators, Inc., of Houston, Texas, has held a workplace giving campaign that has netted nearly $30,000 in support of Handicap International’s inclusive education program in Indonesia. The program helps bring children with disabilities into inclusive schools and ensures they have the resources they need to successfully learn.
“I think the success stories and activity reports Handicap International shares through the website and newsletters set the stage for giving,” says Mark Struss, Boccard CEO. “Our employees are incredibly gratified when they can see the difference their contributions have made in the life of a person who has a face and a name.”
Many companies in the U.S. run workplace-giving campaigns that encourage employees to donate to select charities, but the way it is done at Boccard is special. “We do not ask employees for money,” says Struss, “we ask them for time.”
“Each employee is given the opportunity once each year to pledge support for Handicap International,” says Struss. “We ask each employee to dedicate two hours or more of their work time. Once the employee pledges a specific number of hours, we calculate the value and handle the deduction from the employee’s paycheck. For 2015, we are excited that Boccard’s headquarters office matched individual contributions dollar for dollar.”
This program is part of the fourth-generation family business’s commitment to giving back to those in need. Like Handicap International, Boccard’s international headquarters is in Lyon, France. Plus, both Boccard and Handicap International work in dozens of the same countries.
The partnership has quickly become a deep tradition among the employees of Boccard U.S. “In 2015, more than 70 percent of our employees donated an average of three hours each. In fact, one person donated 40 hours of pay!”
During the fall campaign, Handicap International’s Executive Director Jeff Meer visited Houston to share stories and thank employees in person. “I was deeply humbled and delighted to see the interest the employees had in learning about our work and their excitement about supporting it,” says Meer. “It’s a very special partnership and we are deeply grateful to all the men and women for sharing their hours in support of Handicap International.”