This Thanksgiving, Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. (VGCA) surprised essential workers across the country with heartfelt gifts they’d never forget.
Dedicating its third-annual Volksgiving to Canadian frontline workers, with the help of the VW Owner community, the automaker received over 1,100 nominations for those who have gone above and beyond to help Canadians and their community during the pandemic.
“Through the Volksgiving initiative, we’ve been able to highlight some of the incredible acts VW owners do on a daily basis,” said Lynne Piette, Director, Marketing, Volkswagen Canada. “Volkswagen places tremendous value on supporting the community, and when we hear about our customers doing the same, it’s something worth celebrating and recognizing.”
Of the 18 individuals who were selected to receive special surprises, some were registered nurses, anesthesiologists, deafblind intervenors, flight paramedics, retirement home staff, and retail stockers; people who faced great personal sacrifice in order to take care of others.
For instance, out east in Quebec, early childhood educator Sara A. is the co-operator of a family daycare. Although many childcare centres closed during the onset of the crisis, her business remained open to welcome the children of essential workers on the frontlines. Sara ramped up sanitation procedures to help protect her clients and her elderly parents who live in the house where the daycare is located.
For Sara’s over-and-above efforts to support her community, Volkswagen is gifting her housewarming gifts for her new home, including consulting services from professional interior designers.
Edward M., a dietary staff member at an Ontario retirement home was also among the nominees chosen. When the pandemic hit, he didn’t hesitate to keep going to work and feed his elderly residents. To reduce contact and ensure the safety of his parents and those he works with, Edward ended up moving into the retirement facility to continue to work.
After hearing this compelling, heartwarming, and sentimental story of sacrifice, Volkswagen gifted him with a next-level cinema experience (including a private screening in a theatre with his family) so he could enjoy his favourite pastime with his parents.
In BC, critical care flight paramedic Scott R. flies into remote areas of the province to save lives as part of his typical workday. COVID-19 presented new challenges for Scott, who treats patients inside a small aircraft. Extra safety precautions include wearing layers of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can’t be removed for long periods and not being able to eat or drink (for up to eight hours) while transporting patients.
Because Scott’s job involves a high exposure risk, he’s had to spend long periods away from his family. Knowing this, Volkswagen gifted him with a family reunion to reconnect with his relatives and see his new grandchild.
The other 15 individuals received gifts that were similar in nature and uniquely tailored to each recipient. This included everything from a lavish cottage weekend in Muskoka, to a wellness retreat in the Laurentians, to an idyllic paddleboarding adventure weekend in Kelowna, offering time to relax and reconnect with loved ones.
This year’s Volksgiving surprise moments were captured on video and include honest stories of the sacrifice, kindness, and care each essential worker provided. You can check out the full video below.
Full disclaimer: the first time we watched this video, we got a little emotional while learning about the impact people across Canada are making behind the scenes. The frontline workers interviewed are our neighbours, members of our communities, and true inspirations for us all during these unprecedented times.
Remember to give thanks to the essential workers who play a role in your life and work around the clock in these times to keep us all safe.