Former ServiCom employees thank Salvation Army with $25,000 cheque
SYDNEY -- There were 25,000 reasons for the staff from the Salvation Army to be thankful Wednesday.
"I am floored," said Maj. Corey Vincent of the Salvation Army. "We had no idea. It's a huge contribution to the work of the Salvation Army in Sydney."
For the more than 600 employees at the former ServiCom call centre in Sydney, it's their way of paying it forward, and giving back to a community that was there for them during their darkest days.
Many of the workers were laid off when ServiCom filed for bankruptcy a year ago.
"Last year, Corey and his folks came through for us when we were in a tough bind," said call centre employee Dan MacInnis.
"We can't be more thankful. Anything we can do now to return the favour, everybody in the centre feels that way."
A percentage of employee wages and a $5,000 donation from the company allowed the workers to present the Salvation Army with a $25,000 cheque on Wednesday.
"People stepped up for us," said Todd Riley, the VP of operations at the call centre. "We need to step up for them this time, so fortunately, we are in a time that we are able to do that and continue to do that."
Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of the fay the former ServiCom call centre went bankrupt and closed its doors.
It was a time of uncertainty for many and a time they will never forget.
"It was devastating at the time," MacInnis said. "You walk into work and it's like you don't have a place to go anymore. I was sitting in there eating Chinese food and next thing you know they came in and said go home. We're closed."
The call centre later reopened under American businessman Anthony Marlowe, and is looking to grow its workforce to more than 700 people.
"This point in time last year we weren't getting paid," said employee Wayne Sharpe. "We didn't know what was ahead of us, but this year we are getting paid, and everybody has money for Christmas."
With the Salvation Army located just next door to the call centre, they are now more than just neighbours -- they have become friends.
"Just to be able to bring some hope, it was an honour to do that," Vincent said. "If we had to do it again, we would."