MacPawCares: good deeds in a year

MacPaw team launched a series of social initiatives called #MacPawCares back in 2018 to mark the company’s 10th anniversary. To us, birthdays are more about giving presents, not receiving them. Therefore the projects are aimed to help people around Ukraine, MacPaw’s home country, with some fundamental issues.

The projects blossomed from one-time birthday celebration events and became a part of our culture. Last year we shared the story of all the projects we launched and supported in this article. Today we’re excited to share the best 25 projects of this year!

#MacPawCares includes a wide array of initiatives. Many of them evolved from in-house projects started by our team, like waste sorting, collecting clothing for shelters, and supporting local charities. Today there are eight different focus areas with tons of projects under each one:

  • Green Project
  • Tech and Science
  • Diversity
  • Education
  • People in Need
  • Animals
  • City
  • Ukraine

Green Project

Being "green" to us means being conscious and providing change, starting with ourselves. Step-by-step, we share and implement our vision to the outside world, hoping to spark other eco-activists to join us!

1. Mobile assistant for waste-sorting

Over two years ago, we released a mobile app that helps to sort our trash, explains how to prepare it for recycling, and assists with finding the nearest waste sorting station. We called it Сортуй (Sortui, which means “let’s sort” in Ukrainian).

Back then, the app had universal waste sorting rules for Ukrainians and two more sets of regulations from waste management services in Kyiv. Now our users have access to the current rules of 17 different services in 25 Ukrainian cities. Sortui also notifies users about updates to the recycling rules and news from the waste management services. It is an essential tool for all MacPaw newbies who are not yet familiar with the recycling best practices we follow in our office.

This year we also released a new website for the app and reached 31,800 installs. Great progress for a project that started as an in-house solution, huh?

2. #CleanMyCity challenge

CleanMyMac, our star product, set millions of Mac computers free from junk. We went beyond that with #CleanMyCity – massive urban cleanups. To put simply, it’s a challenge that raises awareness about littering. Anyone can join it following these three steps:

1. Find an area in your city that needs to be cleaned up

2. Get together with a group of mates or colleagues and pick up the waste there

3. Tag someone you think should join the challenge next

In fact, the #CleanMyCity challenge is not just about cities anymore: we launched a cleanup in the Carpathian Mountains (the Shipit Mount near Pylypets, to be exact). As the golden rule of the hikers says: always leave the place cleaner than it was when you arrived. So, we collected and disposed of any abandoned bottles, plastic bags, napkins, and other trash we laid eyes on.

In the past 12 months, we launched two massive cleanups, and 11 more companies joined the #CleanMyCity challenge. Our next destination to clean up is Kinburn by the sea.

P.S. Our video prank “The revenge of the junk” became a Gold Honoree in the ShortyAwards for Social Good! Plus, the campaign was a finalist in the “Best Motivational Video or Video Series” category of the Content Marketing Awards!

3. NO WASTE RUN 🏃‍♂️

This May, macpawians were challenged by three different marathons, including The No Waste Run. Thirteen people from our team joined the run for two, five, and ten km.

What’s special about it? All the runners or passers-by could bring their recyclables to the NoWasteUkraine stations near the Expocenter of Ukraine. The money collected during the event will help to build a new station where Kyivans could bring their recyclables.

4. New Waste Sorting Station with NoWasteUkraine

MacPaw is supporting NoWasteUkraine to open a new waste sorting station together! The new location is about to employ up to 25 people and will collect more than 300,000 kg of recyclables – which is a weight of 50 African bush elephants. Moreover, educational events about reusing, reducing, and recycling will occur there for those interested in learning more. As a bonus, here’s a list of the essential things we need to do to launch one waste sorting station in Ukraine:

  • carry out the repair work;

  • paint the walls;

  • fix electricity and set up the lights;

  • replace the doors;

  • fence off the warehouse area from the station;

  • build a warm room for the employees.

Plus, we’ll acquire a press to squeeze the recyclables, a stacker, two pallet jacks, 40 containers, platform scales, three tables to sort out waste, a printer, three racks, a refrigerator, a microwave, as well as tables, chairs, and lockers for staff needs.

5. Saving the batteries

Unfortunately, there are no battery recycling plants in Ukraine. This means people have to send collected batteries to the GreenWEEE plant in Romania. A year ago, we supplied one school, one university department, and one student space with boxes to collect used batteries for recycling, and now we can share the results! With our support, students gathered and properly disposed of 40 kg of the batteries.


Animals

In our office, we've got two cats – Fixel and Hoover. They spend their lives swaying in the sun, lazily lying around on laptops, and following their healthy diet. Often our guests get jealous and even ask whether we have a job opening for another feline. Unfortunately, some animals are not as lucky as our office pets. For all the goody four paws that have experienced trouble, we launched the Animals direction of MacPawCares projects.

6. The Fire Brigade of Kyiv Animal Rescue Group

For the third year in a row, we were happy to support the incredible saviors of the Kyiv Animal Rescue Group. Their daily routine is mindblowing: saving animals in the middle of the river, chasing forest fires, and answering calls for help around Kyiv. We’re not even sure “routine” is an appropriate word. However, facing challenges like these becomes overwhelming without proper equipment. Inspired by this important work this year, we acquired crucial firefighting equipment. Since fire season started in March, the donated equipment was just in time to help the rescuers.

7. Adopt don't stop

Ukrainian shelters are overwhelmed, so homeless dogs often overrun the streets. Sterilization is an effective way to fix the problem. Simply put, each stray animal goes through five stages:

  1. treatment against parasites
  2. rabies vaccination
  3. chipping and entering into the Animal ID database
  4. the operation itself
  5. five days of inpatient care

We supported the Adopt Don't Stop program to reduce the number of animals in shelters and on city streets. In a year, they sterilized 1200 stray animals – that's about a hundred per month.

8. Helping the wildlife

Like last year, the MacPaw team also worked with a Ukrainian shelter for animals saved from circuses, zoos, and baiting stations. Some of the wild paws returned to their natural habitats, but many injured creatures can’t manage to come back home. As food storage used to be a pressure problem, we purchased a freezer for the shelter. Proper nutrition and fresh meat are vital for big cats. Back in 2019, we helped the shelter to upgrade its enclosures and purchased infrared lights.

9. Touring the animal shelter

This year we visited “Sirius” animal shelter twice! It is a shining example of how an extra set of hands (or 20 macpawians working together) can be a valuable contribution. Care, attention, and help with daily routines make an impact too. The MacPaw team experienced it on our own.

We also brought meds, bowls, mats, collars, and food for the animals. However our four-legged pals appreciated our attention more than the gifts. Although the chances of dogs testing positive for COVID-19 are very low at this point, we followed proper hygiene and social distancing rules to make these trips happen.

Traditionally, these events are emotionally taxing, but we can't wait for the next one. Do you want to make your contribution? At this moment, 3,083 inhabitants live in “Sirius” – maybe one of them could become your new friend.

10. Exchanging plastic for charity

Yapomoga (Япомога, which means “I-help” in Ukrainian) is the first automated online platform that exchanges plastic for joint charity. Each box simultaneously performs two functions: it teaches children to sort out waste and do good deeds, such as helping animals. We purchased three Yapomoga boxes to set them up in Kyiv schools.

The boxes work like magic!

  1. A person puts a used plastic bottle into the box.
  2. The machine provides 50 grams of food for stray animals or transfers funds for sterilization.

Soon we're planning to add a crusher to the box and a solar panel for autonomous operation.

11. Nevermind the breed with DOG_MA

MacPaw is often called a cat-loving company because of the two adorable felines in our office. But we care about dogs too! Maybe you've already seen the billboards by DOG_MA? They appeared, with our support, in Kyiv back in September.

The DOG_MA project reminds us that there are no good or bad animals. When choosing a pet, we prefer a friend, not a trendy accessory. It is about dismissing whether the animal is purebred or not.

In post-Soviet states, the problem of numerous street animals and overcrowded shelters is still unresolved. Thanks to Ukrainian youth style and opinion leaders like Alyona Alyona the campaign aims to start animal fashion from the top.

Last year, MacPaw invested in filming a social ad about dogs.


12. City – Shedding the light

We first illuminated St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral in July 2019. The project was also backed by Ring Ukraine, SD Capital, and Toronto-Kyiv Complex and executed by Expolight. Since that time, the building has been lit every night. But we'd like to share three special occasions that changed its regular colors.

At the beginning of the total lockdown in Kyiv, the cathedral was "painted" into red shades to show support and respect for the hard work of medical professionals at the overwhelmed hospitals.

From February 18th to 28th, St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral changed the illumination to bring attention to the Rare Disease Day 2021. 5% of Ukraine’s population has rare diseases. Rare, or orphan disease, is a condition that occurs in no more than 1 out of 2000 people. Sixteen more famous and iconic buildings in Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Dnipro, and Mariupol supported the event.

Another occasion happened to mark World Blood Donor Day. Though there are many types of heroes, this way, we thanked donors in particular for making an impact!


13. Diversity – The inclusivity forum

As well as a year before, we supported an inclusivity forum by Dostupno.UA. Specifically, we provided sign language translation for the spectators and the participants of the online event. The forum aimed to bring together government officials, initiative teams, and activists to create a space accessible to everyone.

Hence, it was not a specific place tied to one particular time, but it united all those eager for change and ready for action. One of the event’s goals is to show that inclusive spaces are in everyone's interest, regardless of health and lifestyle.


14. Educating the educators

Long-term but effective changes start with the younger generation. And who impacts children, if not the teachers and the education system? MacPaw supported a project called "Effective and unifying communications for educators," which helps teachers, school psychologists and principals from all over Ukraine understand the basics of nonviolent communication (NVC). After five years of spring workshops, teachers can now use NVC skills when working with children and primary and secondary school students.


15. Tech and Science – Polar Internet Connection

What makes a good gift for a 25th birthday? We bet it's a satellite antenna (if we’re talking about the Vernadsky Research Base in the Antarctic).

Thanks to the miracles of the XXI century, we can effortlessly communicate with people around the world. But Ukrainian researchers, exploring the problems of microplastics in the Antarctic marine system still had to meet strict limitations on internet usage. The total amount of traffic on the research base per month was 30 GB with a maximum speed of up to 500 Kbps.

To remedy this issue, we contributed a new General Dynamics satellite antenna to the Vernadsky Research Base! The equipment has toured half the world before finally arriving in Antarctica. We even had to prove to the US government our antenna would not be used for military purposes or secret research.

After providing the evidence and installing the antenna, the station's Internet connection speed increased eight times!

Previously we aided the researchers with:

  • protected laptops for extreme conditions
  • a satellite dish and Wi-Fi
  • components for computers and research equipment

…and a coffee machine (they'd never had one before)!

The MacPaw flag has been fluttering in Antarctica since May 22nd, 2019, and this project is starring one of our favorite #MacPawCares initiatives.


People in need

Supporting those in need is vital, especially when you have power and resources to change someone else's life for the better.

16. Salute the Blood Donors

Donor cards are tiny books manifesting the goodwill of their owners. These cards are not standard in Ukraine, though donors can get one after a blood donation. Recently the cards became brighter to catch the eye and inspire more people to donate blood!

Designed by Kyiv Style, new donor card covers became a signature for the "Blood Agents" contributors. We supported the covers' manufacture without undue delay to honor the donors. Previously macpawians twice participated in blood drives right from the office.

We believe that this small contribution can encourage more people to save lives by becoming a donor. Plus, you can say making things unboring is in our blood.

17. Enlisting in the Marrow Donors

For the first time, we decided to support bone marrow donors and become one of them! Though 39 million people are in the World Marrow Donor Association, there are less than 5000 of them in Ukraine. This type of donorship is a lesser-known brother of blood donation. Twenty-three macpawians joined the program to become bone marrow donors. That took them just 5 minutes.

Why do we need more bone marrow donors in Ukraine? When it comes to identifying a marrow donor, doctors weigh many factors. For example, most requested donors are in the 18-35 age group as younger donors lead to a better long-term survival rate for patients after transplant.

The best marrow transplant outcomes happen when a patient’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and the HLA of a registry member or cord blood unit closely match. (Which is way more complex than matching blood types.)

18. Elderly – The Lifelovers

The LIFELOVER Foundation is a bright and rapidly unfolding project that takes care of the elderly who experienced hard times at the beginning of the lockdown in Ukraine. Previously we purchased and financedsupported two houses where the older people could get free hot lunches. But gathering near the houses became impossible because of COVID-19, since seniors are at the most significant risk. We transformed the project, and now we deliver food packages right to their homes.

In total, we purchased 4700 packages, 200 of which were headed to Chornobyl. The inhabitants of the Exclusion Zone are mostly older people in remote villages. Human contact is minimal. They used to get support from the government and the tourists, but the pandemic made matters worse. The MacPaw team was already helping seniors in Kyiv, so we decided to show our care to the elders of Chornobyl as well.

19. MacPaw Christmas Elves

Winter is perfect for getting a taste of Santa's life. Five years in a row, we at MacPaw receive hand-made postcards from children with cystic fibrosis. Each of them contained a letter to Santa with wishes and hints on the kid's dream.

If we can change someone's life for the better, why not do that right away? Based on that, macpawians pick the letter they like the most and prepare a gift for the little sender. This season we received 44 letters and made 44 tiny dreams come true.


Ukraine

We believe that our home country, Ukraine, can do so much more with just a bit of help. Therefore this direction is our chance to make an impact.

20. Stanford Emerging Leaders program

Supporting Stanford's Ukrainian Emerging Leaders became a good tradition for us at MacPaw. It is a program for policymakers, legal professionals, entrepreneurs, and civil society leaders. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was no exception: this year, we sponsored gifted participants from Ukraine.

The head of this program is the legendary Francis Fukuyama. Among the patrons are Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Tomasz Fiala, Dragon Capital, Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), and Rustem Umerov.

21. First Robotics Competition (FRC)

We assisted the team of Kyiv Students Robotics Federation for the second time!

The NeuraBl!Nk #7851 school team represented Ukraine at the FRC in Istanbul. Despite the pandemic, they plan to hold it offline. If they win the first stage of the competition, they will go to the final championship in Houston, USA.

In addition to financial support, we also provided them with a location: the team assembled their robot in our MacPaw Space

FRC is the largest robotics competition in the world, held among teenagers in grades 9-11. Every year more than 4,000 teams from 27 countries take part in tournaments with their works.

NASA, Boeing, Daimler, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, and other world-famous companies support these competitions.

22. Reaction to COVID-19

This year we also acquired five oxygen concentrators and 90 nasal cannulas to share with macpawians and Ukrainians in need. We previously purchased 2,000 protective suits for doctors and five ventilators (we donated four of them to hospitals in Kyiv and one to a hospital in Nadvirna).

23. Christmas Charity

We decided not to throw a corporate party this year but to spend $70 000 on our social initiatives. Macpawians voted on a project that is important for us – children's hospitals. Plus, kids are the ones who deserve Christmas miracles the most!

Based on the hospital's needs, we purchased a rare hypothermia device for newborns for the Kyiv City Children's Clinical Hospital №1. It adjusts to fit an infant and offers protection from anything that may cause the newborn's body temperature to drop. The device is essential for babies suffering from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

We also contributed:

  • Infection control.
  • A nasal high-flow oxygen therapy system.
  • An ultrasound machine for infants at the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Children's Clinical Hospital.

24. Mine risk education project with UNICEF

MacPaw, UNICEF Ukraine, the IT Ukraine Association, and WeAR Studio gathered to launch a VR product to educate children of eastern Ukraine about the risk of landmines. More than 430,000 children live in areas along the frontline, but a study shows that only 57% of children under 12 interviewed in the armed conflict zone could identify explosive devices. According to UNICEF, mines, and explosives left behind by the ongoing conflict injured one in three children in eastern Ukraine.

WeAR Studio is developing a virtual reality program, and MacPaw is providing the VR glasses. The project will be released by September 2021.


25. Finally, the spoiler

The first rule of #MacPawCares club is you don't talk about MacPawCares projects... until they're implemented. However, we're ready to spoil it for you!

MacPaw sponsored a movie about the deforestation of the Carpathian forests. The film is about to appear at the festivals shortly.


Many thanks for your reposts from the official MacPaw profile! You've shared over a 1,000 posts on Facebook with the #MacPawCares hashtag 🎉

Thank you for spreading the news of our social initiatives and inspiring others to start even more good deeds!