“As a company we have to contribute to a better world and with everything we do, and with initiatives like this one, we contribute our grain of sand,” said Ana Botín at the last awards ceremony of the XIII edition of Euros from your payroll, chaired by Queen Letizia last week. This program, sponsored by the employees of Santander Bank, has allowed one more year to support social projects aimed at improving the quality of life of people in vulnerable situations and helping them prosper.
Corporate volunteering has become a valuable business tool to promote among employees not only respect and solidarity, but also motivation, team spirit, values and commitment to the company. Large organizations, such as Banco Santander, have integrated this activity as an essential element of their sustainability and social responsibility policies.
Euros from your payroll It is an example of the involvement of a company’s staff in social projects and of what can be achieved by working as a team and joining forces. The Santander employees become godparents of a solidarity project -they can support up to three initiatives- and present their candidacy to be voted on by the rest of the colleagues. In this way, it is the workers themselves who propose and decide the projects that are finally selected. Since its launch in 2009, it has distributed 4.1 million euros among the 110 projects selected by Spanish NGOs, associations and foundations, and has helped around 190,000 people.
In the last call, the number of award-winning organizations has been increased from 12 to 16, which have been selected among the 349 projects presented. Each of them will receive 42,190 euros thanks to the contributions of the employees who participate in the program, to which the bank adds: for every euro donated, the entity contributes another. In addition, this year it has had an extraordinary contribution from Ana Botín, which has also been duplicated by Santander. In this edition a total of 675,042 euros has been raised.
“Today we celebrate that words become deeds. It consists of sixteen projects that deal with what is really important: development cooperation and education, the integration of young people, disability, childhood cancer research, minors in vulnerable situations, the eradication of violence against women and girls, and the loneliness of the elderly ”, highlighted Queen Letizia.
The winning projects in each of the five categories contemplated by the program are:
- International cooperation: Pablo Horstmann Foundation, with the project to rebuild the preschool and nutrition center in Nadunda (Kenya); Educo, which seeks to improve the quality of life and future expectations of women victims of violence and abuse in El Salvador; and Ramón Grosso Foundation, to provide basic materials and train midwives in 3 hospitals in Chad.
- Disability: El Arca de Madrid Foundation, which is going to start up a home for people with and without intellectual disabilities to form real family nuclei; Ela Spain, therapy for those affected by leukodystrophy; Lukas Foundation, for your project Smiles on wheels, for the acquisition and maintenance of bicycles and tricycles adapted to different types of disabilities; and Talita Foundation, which will create a new multidisciplinary space to support children and young people with special educational needs.
- Health: CRIS Against Cancer, infant cell therapy for patients with Covid-19; Vicky’s Dream, child rehabilitation of children with brain tumors; and Little Wish Foundation, I support 65 children with cancer through the fulfillment of a wish.
- Social inclusion: Altius Foundation, with the initiative 1 Kilo of Help in the face of the social crisis of Covid-19; Great Friends in Action Foundation, against the loneliness of the elderly through Seniors in company; and New Future Association, to accompany young ex-ward in their transition to adult life.
- Early childhood education: SOS Children’s Villages, which faces the social, emotional and economic crisis caused by the pandemic; Anar Foundation, to accompany minors and their families in the digitization process, with a space for education and help in cases of child or adolescent violence; and Acrescere Foundation what with Guardian Angel, Children’s Area (nursery) 24×7 wants to prevent the neglect of children from 0 to 6 years old.
Despite the circumstances caused by the coronavirus, More than 26,000 Banco Santander employees participated last year in various social activities, to which they dedicated more than 56,000 hours. “Our collaboration and commitment with social organizations did not waver during the pandemic. Our volunteers in all geographies continued to dedicate their time to promoting a more inclusive society. Our regular volunteer programs continued to function, and when we could not carry them out in person, we did them virtually ”, they recall from the entity.