For me, Retail inMotion is a rewarding place to work because it’s a company that really shows that it cares. Two weeks ago, I was able to see one of my great passions come together with the people I work with every day. Our HR team at Retail inMotion several weeks prior had offered to host a Saturday event for some very special guests from Chernobyl Children International.
Chernobyl Children International is a United Nations-accredited, non-profit, international development, medical, and humanitarian organization that works with children, families and communities affected by the economic outcome of the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Adi Roche, the founder began work in 1986, immediately after the disaster. I personally became involved in 2013 when I travelled over with 16 volunteers. Since then, I have travelled back to Vesnova Children’s Asylum 4 times and hope to complete another trip later this year.
The residents of Vesnova’s Children’s mental asylum have all unfortunately been affected in some way by the nucleur disaster – some with primary affect due to the radiation, and some secondary like poverty or alcohol abuse within their parents, which has led to abandonment. My last trip to Belarus was in November 2017 and I received great support from my colleagues in Retail inMotion. When I returned and shared my stories and pictures, they immediately wanted to help the children when they would come to Ireland for respite. Our HR dept came up with the idea of hosting a family day at our offices – there was no request or idea too big and they ensured the children would have a day they wouldn’t forget!
On the day of the event, 27 children, along with carers, translators and hosts, arrived at Hangar 57. We had colouring, party games, face painting and a dance teacher. We were blessed with the weather as the sun shone bright and the songs bellowed as we danced the morning away! We refueled with a pizza party and, of course, more sweets. One important point to mention is that only 3 of the children know a small amount of English. Other than that, there was a total language barrier between the Retail inMotion team and the children. However, that didn’t stop us from communicating with smiles and laughter that morning. I know that this special day will be a gift that will stay with my colleagues that volunteered for years to come. I’m thrilled to have had them experience the joy such small gestures can bring to these deserving children.
There was an eruption of tears, laughter and hugs when the day finally came to an end with a few lovely words of thanks from the children, delivered by the translator. The group was over the moon to see that the Retail inMotion team had prepared special goodie bags for each and every one of them to take home as a memento of a fun day spent together.
Sarah Conlon joined Retail inMotion in 2017 and is our Director of Account Management. At Retail inMotion, Sarah is a sales superstar, a tech genius and a brilliant manager to boot. In her spare time, she’s been volunteering with Chernobyl Children International since 2013. She is pictured here with a very special member of CCI who was named Zhenia.