Working Together to Bring Toys and Smiles to Courageous Kids Across the Globe
Ahead of the holiday season, Panasonic Avionics employees around the world teamed up to stuff 5,600 JoyJars for kids fighting cancer. These gifts are part of the Jessie Rees Foundation’s Never Ever Give Up program, a year-round charitable effort to bring joy to kids fighting a life-threatening illness.
Although she was critically ill with two brain tumors, 12-year-old Jessica Joy Rees, better known as Jessie, spent her last year on Earth making JoyJars. Though she passed away in 2012, her family has continued her mission spreading joy to reach over 200,000 courageous kids.
Marzena Erkelens, Manager of Procurement and Planning–Materials at Panasonic Avionics, organized the global effort. “It was amazing to see so many employees moved by the event,” she says. “The amount of positive feedback I have received from employees around the world has been overwhelming. All employees were truly touched by Jessie’s story and very appreciative for being part of this meaningful event.”
For Panasonic, our JoyJar stuffing may be just a small gesture in the grand scheme of things—but it’s a true reflection of how our employees are invested in our commitment to giving back to society as an organization.
Contributing to the Never Ever Give Up program and making it a success at Panasonic took the concerted efforts of many team members, says Erkelens. “The Jessie Rees Foundation had never stuffed JoyJars outside of the USA before. Panasonic was the first company to take the Jessie Rees Foundation on an international tour, stuffing JoyJars in Japan, Singapore, Dubai, and the UK. This meant also a lot of new regulations we had to get familiar with to make this event possible,” she explains.
“This was a tremendous team effort with lots of employees supporting from Facilities, Marketing, Legal, Compliance, HR, Communications, Shipping, Customs, Procurement, and the Culture Family Team.”
“It was amazing to see so many employees moved by the event. All employees were truly touched by Jessie's story and very appreciative for being part of this meaningful event.” - Marzena Erkelens, Manager of Procurement and Planning–Materials at Panasonic Avionics.
The Corporation As a Socially Minded Enterprise
One of Panasonic’s core beliefs is that being a socially responsible organization does not compromise business.
In recent years, corporate social responsibility—CSR for short—has been embraced by companies around the world. At Panasonic, we work tirelessly to promote generosity, humility, and collaboration throughout every echelon of our enterprise. During the Never Ever Give Up campaign, 2,100 employees from all ranks of the company worked together toward a single goal.
“The Never Ever Give Up campaign allowed all Panasonic employees to contribute to the society at a personal level,” says Erkelens. “Each employee stuffing a JoyJar knew that the next person that opens the jar will be a child fighting cancer. With that knowledge, they put all the love and effort to make a perfect jar. And this shows that we truly care about our community and contributing to society.”
That spirit of cooperation is fundamental to our mission. Each person can make a difference, each and every day—and that’s all it takes to make our planet a better, fairer place.