It’s hard to imagine a community activity that better engages front-line employees in the hands-on work of improving the lives of people in need. The residents of an isolated community in rural Panama had to find their way across the Rio Trinidad, leading the nonprofit Bridges to Prosperity to undertake the building of a footbridge over the river in order to provide residents with safe access to schools, health clinics, markets, and jobs.
Denver-based CH2M Hill provided $50,000 for the program and another $35,000 to pay for costs associated with sending 11 carefully chosen front-line employees to help with construction; the funds paid for employee meals, travel, and safety equipment. The 11 team members—selected from diverse locations including Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K., and the U.S.—underwent training for their roles, working with Bridges to Prosperity staff in Denver and Panama to prepare for construction and address safety and logistical issues. The staff participants also contributed to communication about the effort through personal stories and blogs, photos, and videos that documented the process. The project was so successful, with employees reporting a renewed sense of pride in their work, that CH2M Hill has committed to further partnership with Bridges to Prosperity.
For their work to bring a real 45-meter bridge to a remote community, we award our prize for Best Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership in PR Daily’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards to Ellen Sandberg, Tessa Anderson, Reece Bishop, Tomas Garcia, Kimberly Weston-Martin, Lilly Acuna, Andrew McRae, Karen Huxley, Blake Scott, Haluk Camcigil, George Deshurley, Emily Dowling, Luisa Gonzalez, and Eric Vilce; and from Bridges to Prosperity, CEO Avery Bang, along with Abbie Noriega and Jake Moriarty.
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