The Gift of Time: Volunteering with Cuddles Foundation
If you have big goals like giving every child fighting cancer a chance at a cure through nutrition, you need a strong team that’s well-connected and working in sync. Although our donors and corporate supporters play a significant role in helping us, many people behind the curtains have gone out of their way to support our cause and ensure that our operations run smoothly.
One such well-wisher is our dear friend and supporter, Aniisu K. Verghese, an award-winning internal communications leader, author and trainer with over 22 years of experience. He has been working closely with our People Ops team to put in processes that allow for a vibrant, inclusive, and engaged workspace by conducting an internal communications audit and consulting for us.
“I have always been connected to social responsibility and giving, as an individual and as part of the corporate world,” says Aniisu. “In 2003, after I had a bike accident that left my left arm broken, I started a road safety and injury prevention non-profit called ‘Friends for Life.’ I formed it to create awareness and help individuals and organisations be safe while driving vehicles.”
He further explains, “The engagement with Cuddles Foundation came from a chance connection with Purnota (Founder and CEO of Cuddles). During my conversation with Purnota, I was curious about Cuddles Foundation and the work done. When Purnota mentioned a few internal communications challenges, I felt an opportunity to offer my expertise to help the team that does such important work for less fortunate children.”
Aniisu’s help was very timely. Currently, we work with more than 30 government hospitals across the country, providing Nutritionists, food aid and caregiver support to many underprivileged children fighting cancer. And to lead this mission means managing a large team of Nutritionists while making sure kids receive food aid on time to complete their treatment.
“We’ve been closely working with our partner hospitals to provide holistic nutritional care to kids fighting cancer – The credit goes to our Nutritionists who are active in all these hospitals across the country. For our operations to run in sync, we have to ensure we have a strong team that’s passionate about the cause. That’s where Aniisu’s expertise helped us. He closely worked with our team, understood pain points and came back with a solid plan based on his years of experience. We are very thankful for this pro bono project,” says Purnota Dutta Bahl, Founder and CEO of Cuddles.
“Through a series of intensive interventions such as focus groups, communication materials review, sifting through employee engagement insights and interviewing management and employees, I was able to put together a recommendation and plan for the team to move forward. Over many months and through numerous calls and interactions, I was able to understand the pulse of the place (even though we did it remotely) and sense what worked and didn’t,” shares Aniisu.
Aniisu’s expertise, accompanied by his hard work and commitment to the cause, helped our People Ops Team gain a new perspective on improving internal communications.
“Our team of Nutritionists is spread across the country in various hospitals with limited physical contact, while our head office is based in Mumbai. Aniisu’s inputs have helped us think of new ideas to build a sense of community and improve collaboration among our employees. His internal communications audit was especially useful in helping us identify gaps and plugging them,” informs Dipika Seth Mehrotra, the Head of People Ops Team.
“Irrespective of your role and background, there are always ways to give back to the communities around us. I felt honoured to be able to help Cuddles do their work better by bringing insights into internal communications practices,” says Aniisu.
“I would encourage anyone who has a passion, talent and skills to offer, not to waste it. Step up, seek the challenge and contribute in ways that matter. Your experience in the process will enrich you,” he signs off.
We are very grateful to all our volunteers who gift time from their busy schedules to support us and help us give kids fighting cancer a chance at a cure. Like Aniisu, if you wish to extend your help by sharing your skills and expertise to further our mission, you can write to us at [email protected].