Earlier this year, Evelyn Pyper, Manager, Real World Evidence at Janssen Inc. and strong supporter of Team Unbreakable in Canada, entered Team Unbreakable into her organization’s corporate giving initiative. The giving initiative allowed employees to 1) nominate their favourite Canadian charity and 2) vote on where corporate giving dollars should be allocated among the top nominated charities.
Evelyn had previously supported research with Team Unbreakable at McMaster University as part of an undergrad course. “I really appreciate the fact that Janssen allowed employees to have input into choosing which charities to support and I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity,” Evelyn said. “I knew it would be a small commitment of time (to submit an entry) but it could have a huge impact for Team Unbreakable.”
Evelyn’s submission was selected by a review committee as one of the top five Canadian charities to support; a second selection round included voting by employees who were able to allocate dollars to their charity of choice. To complement her submission, Evelyn produced a video about the charity. “I was shocked at all the positive responses within the organization because there were so many worthwhile causes. People were drawn to the story and the issue of mental health – it sparked a lot of discussions,” she said. As a result of voting, Team Unbreakable received a donation from the corporate giving initiative.
Photo: Evelyn with friends at the Toronto Bold and Cold 5K last November
“Mental and physical health are a valued part of our workplace culture and it goes beyond this charity challenge. I know that Janssen believes in supporting a healthy workforce (with its own programs) and its actions speak louder than words,” she said. One example of this is a 5K run that is held annually for employees at its Canadian campus in North York.
As a volunteer and student researcher years ago at Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Healthcare Mood Disorders Clinic, Evelyn was able to see first-hand how impactful running programs can be for youth with severe anxiety and depression. She said her experiences with Team Unbreakable helped shaped her academic and professional pursuits that followed. Evelyn went on to complete her Masters Degree in Public Health at Queen’s University and worked for Public Health Ontario in the area of health promotion, with a focus on youth physical and mental health.
Not a fan of running in high school, Evelyn now says that running is her favourite activity and nothing compares to the sense of joy and accomplishment after completing a run. She has completed the Toronto Unbreakable Bold & Cold 5k in Toronto last year and hopes to stay active in supporting the charity.
“We can’t thank Evelyn and the employees at Janssen Canada enough for the support you have shown for our programs,” says Team Unbreakable Program Coordinator Nils Blondon. “We are truly changing lives for the better and making a difference in our schools and communities. We appreciate so much that you are giving back to and providing charities like ours with funds that help us to support those in need.”
Janssen Inc., is a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson and it has been an innovator in the Canadian healthcare industry for over 50 years. Its goal is to “help people live healthy lives. (The views and opinions expressed in this article are Evelyn Pyper’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of any company in the Johnson & Johnson Family of companies.)