A million reasons to smile

Community is at the heart of everything at Tomago Aluminium. Proving their love for their community is just as deep as their pockets, Tomago Aluminium employees hit a major milestone this quarter – giving away over $1 million through their Out-of-Pay Donation Scheme.

The Scheme was started in 1986 by three Unions with a $2000 donation to the local arm of the Cancer Council.

This has grown each year since to become a successful employee giving scheme that distributes an average of $33,000 every year straight from their own pay packets.

In 1988 the company began matching its employee contributions which saw donations swell from $18,000 to $36,000 in that year alone.

AWU Site Delegate, Wayne Pringle said, “It is great now we’ve clicked over $1 million in donations from the scheme, we’re aiming for the next million.”

“It is important to our employees that we give back to the community that supports us, that houses us, that we are a part of,” Wayne said.

This year $21,600 was donated by the workforce which the company then matched and was split between four charities. This figure comes from 415 employees donating $1 a week. The four charities – Our Backyard, Hunter Melanoma Foundation, OzHarvest and Charlie’s Run 4 Kids – all received more than $10,000 each at a morning tea hosted in the fire shed. As a way to thank the Tomago troops, Variety (who were the 2017 recipients of the Tomago Out-of-Pay Donation Scheme) were on hand to serve coffees, and brought along some of the children that their donations helped.

Tomago employees donated more than $21,000 last year to the children’s charity which funded a sunshine coach to help provide transport for children from Newcastle Junior School in Hillsborough. “It’s great for our employees to be able to see where their money is going,” Wayne said. “Every time our employees see the bus with a Tomago Aluminium logo across the back they can feel good knowing they are helping make a difference to sick or disadvantaged children in the Hunter.”

It was all-smiles from the charity recipients as they mixed with the big-hearted Tomago workforce. “A massive thank you to all the Tomago workers who donated; it’s the single biggest amount we’ve ever received and lets us help hundreds of kids in the local area,” Kylie Waddingham (pictured above with Steve McIntyre (L) and Wayne Pringle (R) from Charlie’s Run 4 Kids said. The money raised will go towards a therapist to assist the children facing childhood Cancer. “The therapy is an integral part of a child’s treatment and teaches kids how to deal with the anxiety they have from their illness.”

Peter Di Girolama from Our Backyard also expressed his appreciation. “On behalf of the many homeless people in our community I would like to thank the employees of Tomago Aluminium for their generous donation through their Out-of-Pay Donation Scheme, your gift will go towards the operational costs of Our Backyard for the next 12 months,” he said.

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