MCS commemorates International Volunteer Day with its nearly 1,700 participations
SAN JUAN – With more than 12,500 hours of volunteer work carried out through its MCS Contigo volunteer program since Hurricane Maria, healthcare coverage provider MCS said it is proud to commemorate International Volunteer Day Wednesday with what it has accomplished.
In just over a year, more than 1,700 volunteer participations by MCS employees have contributed to hundreds of educational, recreational, cleaning, painting and decorating activities, among other work, at more than 50 institutions throughout the island. This has included schools, child care centers, training and rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes in more than 60 towns.
The MCS Contigo program was created in 2017 in response to the emergency that arose after hurricanes Irma and María struck Puerto Rico.
“In recent years, the crisis that had already prevailed before Hurricanes Irma and María already had a severe impact on the island’s non-profit entities in conducting their community work. Given this scenario, MCS took immediate action at the time to support these entities with food supplies, drinking water, clothing, electric generators and other necessities to ease the emergency,” said Vivian Figueroa, project manager of MCS Contigo.
Just over a year after the emergency, MCS, continues to dedicate hours to volunteer work, “so that society is not deprived of the breath of hope these entities offer so selflessly to those who most need it,” she said.
Figueroa explained that the volunteer work of MCS employees has, for example, contributed to combating school dropout rates through hours dedicated to tutoring and helping young people become responsible and professional adults.
“These volunteer hours have also contributed to improving the quality of life for the elderly or those with disabilities, through work dedicated to cleaning, beautifying and decorating institutions dedicated to caring for these people. And these are just a few examples of the many ways in which we have contributed to our society through our volunteer program,” Figueroa said.
In addition to caring for the community, which along with the MCS Foundation supports the third pillar of the Vívela MCS corporate culture, the executive emphasized that the experience of volunteer work also prepares participants with essential skills.
“During group volunteer work, employees are given the opportunity to choose who will lead the group’s work that day. This experience is an example of how skills used in the work area, such as communication, leadership, time management and teamwork, are enhanced,” she added.
Figueroa also mentioned that an increase in the number of recipient entities, as well as the number of participating employees will be among MCS Contigo’s future projects.
“We hope that every year, more companies and individuals in the community will follow our example and join these activities. We want to make MCS a company that is recognized for its philanthropic work on the island, and that this is part of our lives. There is still a great need for voluntary help to meet the physical, emotional and economic needs of our beneficiaries in all sectors, so we will continue to give these entities a hand in making a difference in the lives of those we serve,” she concluded.
Entities that have benefitted from the MCS Contigo volunteer program have included Centro de Bendición, Centro Inés, Iniciativa Comunitaria, La Fondita de Jesús, Hogar Escuela Sor María Rafaela, Niños Nueva Esperanza, Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, Caras las Américas and the Puerto Rico Psycho-pedagogical Institute, among many others.
International Volunteer Day was decreed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in Resolution 40/212 of Dec. 17, 1985. The UN General Assembly invited governments to celebrate it every year on Dec. 5, urging them to take steps to raise awareness of the importance of volunteers to society.