Congratulations to our 2021 Volunteer of the year award winners!

Gold prize

Vanessa Hood

More than 625 hours

Amount : CA$10,000
From : CAE
To : 4theOne Foundation

As soon as Vanessa Hood finishes her workday at CAE, her volunteering with 4theOne Foundation begins! Vanessa dedicates her free time and research skills to locating missing youth and safely reuniting them with their loved ones. She has helped 4theOne in the recovery of 318 minors, including 174 victims of trafficking and exploitation in North Texas. In addition to her recovery work, Vanessa strives to educate communities on the realities of human trafficking in order to help end it. She wants all missing youth to know that somebody cares for them and is searching for them.

Vanessa’s true passion shines through in the pride she feels in her work with 4theOne.

Thank you for your dedication to this important cause, Vanessa!

Silver prize

Gabriella Braccu
Human Resources Business Partner

390 hours

Amount : CA$5,000
From : CAE

For Gabriella Braccu, putting a smile on somebody’s face is the greatest reward. Gabriella began volunteering with the organization AVO OBLIA in her city of Oblia, Italy, when her father was ill and she wanted to give back to the hospital by spending time with some of its patients. As a hospital volunteer, she provides comfort and company to patients who may feel alone. Passionate about patient care, Gabriella volunteers with Intervol Sardegna, providing ambulance services to those in need when other medical services may not be available.

It is important to Gabriella that nobody feels lonely on their difficult days.

Thank you for providing comfort to those in need, Gabriella!

Bronze prize

Jake Fitter
New Zealand
UX Designer

260 hours

Amount : CA$2,000
From : CAE
To : Waima to Laingholm Pest Free

Jake Fitter dreams of a fully functioning ecosystem, free of pests and sediment, for his family and neighbours to enjoy. While part of our needed biodiversity, an overpopulation of possums, rats and other pests raid nests and kill baby chicks, lizards, and butterflies. Through his volunteer work with Waima to Laingholm Pest Free, Jake spends hours each week trapping and removing pests and does weeding of pest plant species, while also managing his type 1 diabetes. The area which he has volunteered for the past eight years, Little Muddy Creek, now has 3000 more plants that before and greater numbers of bird species!

Jake believes that change starts locally and by engaging his friends and neighbours, he hopes for a pest-free future for all to enjoy.

Thank you, Jake, for taking care of your community!

Martin Simoneau
Design Lead – Electrical

More than 110 hours

Amount : CA$2,000
From : CAE
To : Vents d'espoir de la vallée du Saint-Laurent

As the father of an adult with cerebral palsy, the mission of Vents d'espoir de la vallée du Saint-Laurent is incredibly personal for Martin Simoneau. Martin volunteers on the Board of Directors for the non-profit that provides support to adults (ages 18 to 55) who suffer from a head injury or physical disability. Through his work on the Board of Directors, Martin helps organize social activities and workplace reintegration workshops and helps find access to supervised housing adapted to specific needs.

Martin hopes to make a difference in the lives of these people, allowing them to grow and flourish.

Thank you, Martin, for your dedication to accessibility and inclusivity for all!