charity miles

Around the World for Charity (Virtually)

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“It was a really great opportunity for us to come together as a team. A lot of team members have shared that they felt part of the team more than ever before.”

– Iryna Robertson

A collage of Hilti team members.

Iryna Robertson works on the Moment Global team at Hilti, with 31 teammates from all over the world. Over the summer, she and her teammates ran from Stockholm, Sweden to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to visit every member of the team — virtually.

And they raised $5,000 for charity while doing it.

“We were looking for an activity that we can do as a team that is not in any particular location,” Iryna says.

“We identified the areas of interest for the team and it was quite obvious that there are two things that the team cares about.

“One is movement, because quite frankly, we all spend a lot of time on calls, glued to our laptops. Movement is one big problem that everyone faces on the team,” she laughs.

“The second one was that we wanted to have an impact. Charity Miles was just perfect because it was covering both, and also there was no particular location.”

The team voted and chose two charities to support, the World Wildlife Fund and UNICEF. “We decided to do one or two [charities] as a team to be more impactful,” says Iryna. It was important to the team to choose charities they all personally cared about.

A collage of Hilti team members over a map of the world, with "You Are Awesome" written on top.

They planned to run for Charity Miles all summer and had the idea to make it into a journey to visit every city where a team member lived.

How did that work?

Iryna planned a journey from east to west, leaving from Stockholm, passing through Manchester, Paris, Buchs, Schaan, Milan, Malaga, and Dubai, and ending in Kuala Lumpur.

“Basically,” Iryna explains, “you see what the distance is between all these different places. And then it’s very easy on the dashboard to see how many miles we made as a team. I was just keeping track of it and let the team know, ‘Oh, we’re approaching Paris, just a few more days.’”

Once they “arrived” in a city, the team members in that city hosted a session to celebrate together and share information about their home country. “We had some presentations, we had some quizzes, we had some videos,” says Iryna. “We had lots of fun.”

“Everyone was really, really active,” Iryna adds. “They absolutely loved it.”

Iryna can see the team’s engagement not only by the numbers but also by the conversations the initiative sparked. “We have been constantly talking about it, sharing photos, jokes, and stuff like that,” she says. “You could tell that everyone was really engaged.”

Team members of all activity levels participated, from people tracking their regular runs and daily activity to one teammate who frequently runs marathons. “It was mostly just tracking your daily steps and your daily activities, rather than doing anything special,” says Iryna.

The team deliberately encouraged people of all levels by announcing upfront “We’re not going to celebrate only the first three who had the biggest mileage because we want to be as inclusive as possible, so people of any habits and abilities can participate,” says Iryna. Instead, anyone who got 200 miles over four months got into a draw for three prizes.

“It was a really great opportunity for us to come together as a team,” says Iryna. “A lot of team members have shared that they felt part of the team more than ever before.”

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