Since the coronavirus outbreak began, we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by our employees. Whether donating their time to help people, their money to support causes, or their ideas for ways that we can support the fight against coronavirus – their response to this crisis has been inspiring.
Across Europe, our colleagues have been looking for ways to help those in need.
Arnold: Volunteering for the Red Cross
In the Netherlands, Arnold Choi, an energy transition advisor at our Rotterdam refinery, is a long-term volunteer for the Red Cross. Since the crisis began, he has been giving his time to help triage incoming patients at several of the HMC Hospitals in The Hague (The Netherlands).
“We test everyone who enters the hospital for symptoms of corona,” explains Arnold, who leads the team. “We ask people if they have complaints such as coughing and measure their temperature. Avoiding and reducing infections is important. Many people don’t know they are sick; you can infect people without obvious symptoms.”
To support Arnold in his work, ExxonMobil has made a donation to the Red Cross from the Volunteer Fund. It’s hard work and it comes with risks, but Arnold finds volunteering a rewarding experience and says it gives him “a lot of positive energy”.
Anne-Marie: Volunteering to help those in need
In Brussels (Belgium), Anne-Marie Stinis from the Brussels Public and Government Affairs (P&GA) team, is volunteering to help people in need in her community. Many of them are elderly residents with limited mobility, for whom getting out of the house is both challenging and currently a great risk. Anne-Marie is helping by running important errands, shopping for groceries, walking their dog or simply chatting on the phone to keep up morale. Anne-Marie found this work so rewarding that she recently volunteered to support the Red Cross in helping out at a home for elderly people around her community.
Didier: 3D printing face masks for a retirement home
Didier Van Vaerenbergh, Process Operator at our polymer plant in Antwerp (Belgium), has been 3D printing face masks for a local retirement home, where his wife works. The retirement home didn’t have enough protection equipment when the coronavirus outbreak started, so Didier consulted an online forum where he was able to download the designs for protective face masks. He fitted each mask with HEPA filters he bought online, which capture 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns.
Now that the retirement home is being supplied with protective equipment by the government, Didier has started making specially designed hooks for opening doors and operating buttons. Using a hook instead of your hands allows a person to touch fewer handles during the day and reduce the risk of touching a surface contaminated with the virus. Didier has offered to make a hook for any of his colleague who would like one.
“I am glad I can help people who have to battle the virus,” says Didier. “Preventing one person from becoming infected can save many others.”
Timea: Lending laptops to children in need so they can study
In Hungary, Timea Szabo, Human Resources advisor, is a passionate volunteer and has been leading ExxonMobil’s Community Investment activities in the area for many years – creating such events as the Day of Caring at local children’s homes, Christmas Markets, Plant fairs, “Shoebox” donation initiatives and Matched Donation campaigns for Children Hospitals.
“We believe that investing in our community is one of the most important things we can do,” says Timea. “Our volunteers donate their time, creativity and passion to different children homes, hospitals, shelter homes and schools. Without them it would not be possible.”
Since the coronavirus outbreak hit Hungary, Timea has begun with her team a variety of initiatives to help the local community, including taking the vital step of lending private laptops to children in need so that they can continue their studies while schools are closed – delivering the laptops to the children’s homes herself.
Timea has long been an inspirational figure in her community and she was given the Best Volunteer Award by AmCham in 2019.
We are immensely proud to have people like Timea, Anne-Marie, Arnold, Didier and many more community volunteers among our colleagues.
Giving financial support
As well as donating their time, many ExxonMobil employees want to provide financial support to those in need. To amplify their generosity even further, ExxonMobil has set up direct contributions and donation matching programs in several countries, such as Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy and The Netherlands.
The donation matching programs offer to our employees the opportunity to make a donation that will be matched with a donation from the company. Those donations will then support local relief organizations, such as the Red Cross.
The coronavirus outbreak has brought immense challenges. We are more grateful than ever to have such inspiring colleagues to help shape our response.