Giving Back During A Pandemic: Why Our Commitment Still Stands

August 27, 2020 Theresa Rex

miracle foundation children painting a wall in india

It seems that everywhere we look there's another update, ad, announcement or article proclaiming that we're all living in "the new normal" now. While there's nothing inaccurate about that – humans are an adaptable bunch – there's no getting around the fact that there's nothing normal at all about it. If there’s one thing we’ve learned here at Personiv during these strange times, it’s that you can’t let go of what’s most important, and for us, that’s our commitment to giving back, even during a pandemic.

The fact is that coming through a pandemic will require a relentless focus on what matters most, both as individuals and as organizations. Understanding that we're all – and yes, it's a little bit cliché – in this together will be what allows us to thrive.

These two truths factored significantly into our decision to not abandon or even delay action in donating $10,000 to our charitable partner, the Austin-based Miracle Foundation. The charity, which aims to give back to orphans around the world has become an important part of Personiv’s pillar to give back to those in need across the globe, and, in our own backyard.

Changing the Way We Give Back

That’s not to say that giving back might look different these days. At Personiv, we typically tie our donation to the Miracle Foundation with one of our other pillars, taking care of our people.

This has always taken the form of a ‘Trek for a Cause’ in which our global team members gather in top mountaineering locations (Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas in 2019) to come together as a team while also raising money to help vulnerable children worldwide – with $25,000 in total raised in 2019.

Giving back during a pandemic

While COVID-19 has certainly thrown a kink into our ability to travel with our global counterparts to overseas peaks, the Personiv leadership team couldn’t skip the opportunity to provide the resources that Miracle Foundation needs to improve the lives of the children in their care. This comes at a time when many organizations are also questioning how to approach yearly philanthropic efforts while also dealing with the current pandemic. But how can we uphold our mission of giving back... during a pandemic?

Staying True to Company Values - Giving Back During a Pandemic

Our own CFO, Mike Murphy, has advised companies to prioritize the ability to "survive to fight another day". And although other priorities can emerge in times like these, Murphy suggests that especially in a crisis, companies can only accomplish this when they focus on "what matters most". Personiv’s CEO David Lesniak is clear on what that means for Personiv.

"It's important we don't lose sight of our values during this pandemic,” he said of the recent donation. “For Personiv, we will always come back to our three pillars: A Focus on Quality, A Focus on People, and a Focus on Giving Back. Together, they function as a compass within our organization, allowing us to continually challenge ourselves to not only provide exceptional services to our clients but to go beyond our business to make an impactful difference.”

Whether it's right here in Austin, the city we share with Miracle Foundation, or across the globe in the countries, cities and hometowns of our team members, Personiv's mandate to give back is exactly that: a mandate. It is what matters most. And while it doesn't look the same as it has in years past, it's as relevant and necessary as always.

"Being Human" is at the core of Personiv's identity, and when circumstance makes it impossible for us to be close enough to do this work in-person, we simply do what the so-called "new normal" requires us to do with everything else: adapt, and do it anyway.

Responding to the Needs of the Pandemic

Survival in a crisis always requires the ability to change direction at a moment's notice, and for so many organizations, that's meant taking a hard look at what matters and holding it up to what's possible, and then getting creative. Sometimes the "new normal" has required a complete overhaul of formerly airtight budgets, well-oiled supply and delivery chains and going back to beyond square one and straight to square zero when it’s necessary – and possible – to start from scratch.

But what can't and shouldn't change is the identity that's at the core of every organization. For some companies, that could mean a dedication to sustainable materials in manufacturing. For others, maybe it's regular investments in philanthropic initiatives or labor practices that facilitate diverse workplaces.

For Miracle Foundation, what matters most has always been providing life-changing resources for orphaned children around the world. The nonprofit acts as an advocate and provider, ensuring the rights of this vulnerable population and procuring the resources needed to provide shelter, nutrition, and education. Like all children, education looks a little different during the pandemic. Part of their work this year will include delivering virtual education solutions to students who need it most.

According to Anne Broyles, Director of Global Development at the non-profit, "This is a challenging time for all – and even more so for the most vulnerable," she said. "With the generous gift from Personiv, children can continue to receive services and education remotely. Thank you Personiv for your commitment to giving back to the communities where you work.  Miracle looks forward to a continued partnership for years to come."

We must all – organizations and individuals alike – "survive to fight another day." How we do that will vary. It will sometimes be difficult. It may sometimes be painful. It could surprise us, and we'll definitely learn a lot about ourselves and each other in the process. But surviving won't have meant much if we emerge without the values we built our organizations and identities on in the first place.

Giving Back: See What 'Being Human' Means to the People of Personiv

So we must all – organizations and individuals alike – make sure we remember that those values are among the things that matter most.

We're proud to partner with Miracle Foundation to bring critical resources to children in need, especially now, when it matters more than ever. Visit them online to learn more about the non-profit, and join us with a donation of your own if you're able.

Our commitment still stands and always will. Giving back is ingrained in our DNA, even during a pandemic.

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