If you have been living or working around one of our Roche offices, for example our Campus in Mississauga, Ontario, or our Roche Diagnostics / Diabetes Care Office in Laval, Quebec, for some time, chances are you may have come across a very unusual sight: Each year on a designated day, countless (often) blue apparelled people will exit the buildings, some balloons in hand, others in funky costumes, to start walking. As they make their way along the road (Derry Road in Mississauga, Armand-Frappier-Boulevard in Laval), you may be baffled watching their smiles and laughter - after all, these are not exactly locations for a scenic hike.
What you have witnessed is the annual Roche Children’s Walk. The global philanthropic event was first started at our headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, but quickly became an integral part of our culture, cherished and supported by employees around the world. To learn more, read about the history of the global Children’s Walk
In Canada, we first started walking in 2006 in Laval. A few years later, we also started organizing the Children’s Walk at our Mississauga Campus, where we extended the event beyond employees, inviting them to bring in their families to join for the day. Even when Covid forced us to stay separated in 2020 and 2021, we continued walking - each of us remotely via virtual events. This September, we will finally bring back the in-person Children’s Walk. On a smaller scale and with carefully designed Covid protocols, to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Still, we are beyond excited.
One thing that drives us at Roche is the desire to have meaningful impact in the communities, where we live and work, as well as around the globe. Fundamental to this are our philanthropic efforts through both financial support and volunteerism. With the Children’s Walk, Roche employees raise funds for children in need. All funds go to support projects relating to education, nutrition, primary healthcare and social development for children; in part through our independent global charity, Roche Employee Action & Charity Trust—Re&Act, and part directly to our local principal philanthropic partners* – Habitat for Humanity GTA, Let’s Talk Science and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel York. And to make the impact even bigger, Roche matches all employee donations. Since we first started walking, Roche Canada employees have raised over $130,000 dollars.
So this September, if you see a smiling crowd walking down Armand-Frappier-Boulevard or Derry Road, you know they are walking to make an impact for children - around the globe and here at home.
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*Roche Canada Pharma only. All donations collected for Roche Diagnostics / Diabetes Care Laval are donated to global initiatives via Re&Act.
*Roche Children's Walk is managed by Corporate Donations & Philanthropy and organised locally by affiliates worldwide. Roche covers all expenses so that no donations are spent on administrative or fundraising costs.
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