Thursday, December 18, 2014

Make-A-Wish Thanks Securitas Canada

At Securitas Canada, we continue to grow our partnership with Make-A-Wish® Canada and are delighted to be able to support their mission in granting magical wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions by enriching the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
Now 34 years old, Make-A-Wish is the world’s largest, most respected wish granting organization, having granted more than 334,000 wishes since inception!

The year was 1980, and a 7-year-old boy from Arizona by the name of Chris Grecius was battling leukemia. He absolutely loved police officers, and his dream, more than anything, was to become a motorcycle policeman when he grew up. Knowing this, his family and friends arranged for the local motorcycle policemen to come and visit him. On this first visit, the officers were so touched by Chris and his story that they decided to go above and beyond for this brave boy. They arranged for a private ride in the Arizona Department of Public Safety ranger helicopter, they gave him a special tour of the department, and he was sworn in as the first and only honourary Arizona Highway Patrolman. He was presented with a Smoky-the-Bear hat, his own official police badge, and a signed honorary member certificate! The community rallied around Chris and his family in such a powerful way that those involved wanted to continue to give back and make a difference for others like Chris. From this, Make-A-Wish was born!

Securitas Canada honours this great history and this great cause by helping make wishes come true. We are happy to share that this year, with the support of our Securitas employees through our Annual Ball Hockey Challenge and our dress down jeans day program, Securitas was able to grant the wishes of two very special children.

Our first wish child has recently returned from her magical wish. Carla, Age 16, Stage 5 Kidney Disease, wished to go to Wimbledon! An avid tennis enthusiast, the chance to go to Wimbledon was an absolute dream come true. Of the trip with her mom, Carla said “Our whole bond lately has revolved around hospitals, health care, health in general and just taking care of each other, so being taken care of in London, England, and going somewhere to get away from all the worries, that was the biggest gift really. Watching the tournament for all those years before I got sick, I remember thinking how cool it would be to be there. It’s just amazing that we went and I can say that I’ve been there now.”

Our second wish child is Teya, Age 4, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, who wishes to go to Disney World® and meet Snow White! Teya’s illness means she often misses out on special gatherings of friends and family. This trip will be so very special for a girl who has spent a lot of time in the hospital. It will give her the gift of quality time with her family to create some wonderful memories together. The family is looking forward to an entire week of celebrating Teya, and bringing a big smile to her face. We look forward to sharing the photos and stories of her wish come true upon her return!

At Securitas, we continue to look for ways to make an impact and bring joy to Canadian children and their families. Stay tuned for updates on how you can help us make a difference in the lives of some very special kids.

To read more about magical wishes that came true this year across Canada, check out the Make-A-Wish’s bi-annual newsletter, Wishlife!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Giving : Be Generous Be Helpful Be Safe

Be of good cheer, the most festive time of the year is nearly here! It is time to break out the wrapping paper and bows and dash off to the mall for that perfect gift. Truly this is a season of giving and Canadians are among the most generous people in the world (according to a poll conducted by The Guardian newspaper). The holiday season is an especially important time for charities as the largest portion of their annual collections is given at this time of the year. But you should exercise caution when making a charitable donation. Some thieves masquerade as Good Samaritans. Most charitable institutions are staffed by honest, caring individuals and the majority of the money they raise is used to benefit people in need. However, there have been cases where selfish individuals have used donations to enrich themselves. There are also scammers who solicit contributions for fake charities. Again, these greedy Grinchs are few and far between, but they are out there and you need to beware of them. Securitas encourages all of our employees to take our core values of Integrity, Vigilance, and Helpfulness to heart. In that spirit, Securitas hopes that you will all support worthy charities and help protect your families and communities from unscrupulous fakers. To assist you in spotting the wolves amongst the charitable lambs, here are a few useful tips that you can share with your family and friends.

How to Spot a Charity Scam

Here are some tips to help you give safely to trustworthy causes.

  • Beware of a solicitor who will not provide detailed information about the charity’s identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
  • Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number. Look up the phone number to see if it matches and then call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. 
  • Get the exact name of the organization and do some research. Searching the name of the organization online—especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam”— is one way to learn about its reputation. 
  • Check out the charity by contacting the Charity Intelligence Canada ( or Canada Revenue Agency ( 
  • Do not provide your credit or check card number, bank account number, or any personal information until you have thoroughly researched the charity.
  • Refuse any telephoned request for cash or to wire money.
  • If they use high pressure tactics to try to get you to make a pledge before you have had time to think it over.
  • If the solicitor thanks you for a previous pledge that you cannot recall making there is a good chance they are trying to scam you. 
  • If you are offered a guaranteed sweepstakes winning in exchange for a contribution, you can bet it is a scam. 
  • Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters. Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.

The Salvation Army asks that you be cautious of bell-ringing impostors on the sidewalks. Real solicitors will have all-red kettles on a black stand with a small sign sporting the organization’s logo and their kettles will be padlocked. Also, check with store managers or local police to see if the solicitor has been given permission to be there. Legitimate Salvation Army bell ringers are only in locations where they have been permitted to be stationed. So be sure to check for authenticity before you toss your money in the kettle. As a Securitas officer, and a good citizen, you should keep your eyes and ears open and your wallet shut until you are positive that a solicitor is legitimate. Report to the police any suspicious appearance or activity of persons soliciting for charitable donations. Not only will you be preventing a possible crime, but you may also be helping the genuine charities collect more by preventing donations from being hijacked by fakers.

1 Source: The,

2 Source: The National Center for Charitable Statistics,

This guide is for informational purposes only and does not contain Securitas Canada’s complete policy and procedures. For more information, contact your Supervisor or Branch Manager.