A two-year backpacking trek around the globe did far more than show Associate Frank Hanisch the scenery. The trip, which Frank took before joining Mars Petcare in Germany in 2013, also opened his eyes to the challenges people face and inspired him to make a difference.
When he came across an elementary school in the Philippines that struggled with basic school supplies like pencils and paper, Frank began donating his own money. He continued his commitment to make a difference after he joined Mars by holding talks and fundraising activities to help support the kids’ education. Since 2012, Frank has help provide them with a fully equipped kitchen for lunches, teacher resources, improved bathroom facilities and a laptop to teach the children about technology in the classroom. But he knew more could be done with the support of others — so he encouraged his colleagues to join in. They now share his passion and have stepped in to support.
“I’m so surprised by how easy it was for me to help once the first barrier was removed,” he said. “It’s inspiring to work with so many generous colleagues, who were willing to donate once they learned every dollar raised goes directly to the school.”
Aug. 12 designated as International Youth Day by the United Nations General Assembly, offers us another reminder of how we can do more. The day of observance began in 1999 to celebrate the contributions of young people (ages 10 to 24) and raise awareness around the many challenges they face. This year’s theme is “Transforming Education.”
At Mars, we recognize the importance of education to help build the world we want tomorrow. We are also big believers in the power of people and the difference every person can make just by doing their part. That’s how we do business – taking every day action and making everyday progress toward a better world.
As a large global organization, we have an opportunity to take meaningful, positive steps that make a difference in small and large ways. We have an opportunity to bring optimism, and actions like Frank’s support for early childhood education in the Philippines inspires us all.
We look forward to following Frank’s work with the school in the Philippines and ensuring that our workplace culture is one where other Associates feel empowered to help create a better tomorrow for all of us. And despite the improvements at the school to date, Frank reminds us, “more can be done, always.”