MacPawCares: good deeds that never stop

In 2018, the MacPaw team launched a series of social initiatives called #MacPawCares to mark the company’s 10-year anniversary. The projects were created to address some of the most pressing issues in MacPaw’s home country, Ukraine, including recycling, supporting the elderly, volunteering, cleaning up cities, educating youth and so much more. Rather than stopping this important work after the company’s birthday, we adopted the #MacPawCares culture far beyond the “About Us” section of our website. We’re excited to share the results of these projects with you!

There are many different initiatives within #MacPawCares. Some of the ideas followed from in-house projects initiated by our team, like waste-sorting, collection of clothing for shelters, and support for local charities. Today there are 8 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

Our office has a lot of the color of grass, but "green" at MacPaw goes far beyond that. These green projects prove it brilliantly.

Mobile assistant for waste-sorting

MacPaw’s team has come a long way from confusion and almost having panic attacks near the recycling bins when they were first installed in our office. At first, people just stared at the containers. Some people asked a bunch of questions and scrutinized the rules, some threw garbage in the wrong container, and some used a mixed trash bin instead of ones specifically for various recyclable materials. The recycling process in the office had to be simplified, but we didn’t know how.

This is where the mobile app Сортуй came in (Sortui, which means “let’s sort waste” in Ukrainian).

This app was an in-house solution created to help answer the difficult question: “How should waste be sorted in the office?” Therefore, in the first version of the app, its screens and rules for recycling were customised for MacPaw, so when our office guests asked to share the app with them, we couldn’t.

Our green office enthusiasts spent seven months of work to release the app publicly, with information and instructions relevant for people all across Ukraine. And now it’s a reliable assistant that helps identify the type of trash, explains how to prepare it for recycling, and assists with finding the nearest waste sorting station.

Sortui also notifies users about changes in recycling rules and important news from waste management services. It’s still used at the MacPaw office and helps orient new employees about recycling best practices, especially those who haven’t encountered waste sorting before.

#CleanMyCity challenge

Our flagship product CleanMyMac deletes junk on millions of Mac computers, and we firmly believe that fighting junk should go beyond digital. To raise awareness about littering, we launched #CleanMyCity, a series of urban cleanups.

The project plan is crazy simple:

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

Step 2. Get together a group of friends or co-workers and pick up the waste there

Step 3. Tag someone you think should participate in the challenge next

The numbers show it all: 17,640 kg of litter were cleaned off the streets of Kyiv by #CleanMyCity campaigns, with 14 companies joining the challenge.

To promote our 2019 cleanup, we created Junkman, the first hero made entirely out of junk. Then we went on the streets of Kyiv… And, well, you better see it yourself.

What else? The MacPaw team:

  • Planted 25,000 seedlings around Kyiv.
  • Supplied one school, one university department and one student space with boxes to collect used batteries for recycling.
  • Gifted a new massive trash compactor to the NoWaste Recycling Station in Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • Sponsored a movie. Yep, we did!

Animals

For the last two years, we have supported the lifesavers of the Kyiv Animal Rescue Group. MacPaw’s team already takes care of our four-legged office cats, Fixel and Hoover, so it wasn’t a total stretch to back up the rescuers who save animals all around the city. The help has included acquiring a car, a boat for water rescue missions, specialized tools and fire-fighting equipment.

In collaboration with The Cat Fair (Кото-Ярмарок), we contributed to a new cat adoption center designed to instill delightful thoughts about getting a feline! People who can’t bring a pet home can do some yoga with the fluffy companions or get a dose of cat therapy.

We also supported the animal shelter Sirko’s House (Дім Сірка) in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine so it could recover after a massive flood. That assistance helped protect the enclosures of more than 300 animals from cold water.

Unfortunately, in Ukraine a lot of animals are homeless, as the shelters are overwhelmed. We supported the program of Adopt Don’t Stop, so they can properly sterilize and implant chips in 100 stray animals per month.

We also worked with the Ukrainian shelter for animals saved from circuses, zoos, and baiting stations. Some of their wild tenants have been lucky enough to return to their natural habits! Like two bears who recently moved to Romania or two lionesses who moved to Africa! To make their life a bit better, we helped the shelter to upgrade its enclosures and purchased infrared lights. We hope this contribution will make the animals who stay there more comfortable.

The example of Sirius, another local animal shelter, showed us that empathy and personal assistance mean a lot. We brought them fresh hay and 4,391 kilos of food, and in return, we got the quickest, the most emotional, and heartwarming team building we ever imagined. Though it wasn’t planned like an actual team building activity. Macpawians volunteered to spend a day in the shelter to walk the dogs, bring them water, and clean up a bit. We felt a mix of sorrow, tremendous joy, and exhaustion. We’d like to say more, but those emotions are hard to describe. Would we do it again that? Absolutely. In fact, we’re going to go there again soon (obeying all the rules of physical distancing, of course).

Though MacPaw is known as a cat-loving company, we find dogs adorable as well. We sponsored a promo video from the organization DOG MA, which seeks to break stereotypes about adopting canines, without a second thought. Now it’s received tens of thousands of views. Have you seen it already?

DOG MA believes: “A dog is not a trend, but a friend.” Why should you pay attention to the breed and the conditional “beauty” of your pet? DOG MA is about not caring whether the animal is a purebred or not.


City

MacPaw has also undertaken a number of initiatives to support its birthplace, the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv:

  • renovated the Fomin Botanical Garden. One of Kyivans’ favorite attractions became even more memorable with new paved walkways, flower beds, and renovated stairs that had been partly closed for years.
  • re-landscaped and installed lights at the Samosad park, a public yard transformed by Kyivans from an abandoned and untended area. The inspirational atmosphere of the space inspires others now to hold lectures, educational and charity events, picnics or casual walks in the park.
  • installed lighting on the St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kyiv. Ring Ukraine, SD Capital, and the Toronto-Kyiv Complex also joined us to launch this project! In May, the illumination of the cathedral switched to red and white. This idea was implemented by Expolight to remind people about health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diversity

We believe that respect for diversity should start from within. So, as our first step, we held internal lectures for Macpawians. This helped us to understand how stereotypes are formed and who to change our attitudes.

To move from theory to action, we supported an inclusivity forum in 2020 by Dostupno.UA. The forum touched on topics, including satisfaction of residents, the accessibility rating of Ukrainian cities, and inclusion in the workplace. In light of the ongoing movement around the world to further promote diversity and inclusion, we will continue to support and promote equality and seek out other opportunities in this vital area.


Education

Is it possible to make education unboring? We think so, and that it’s about inspiration, motivation, and real-life examples!

hello.code()

As part of this initiative, MacPaw software engineers are going back to their former schools and helping schoolkids to make their first steps in programming. As soon as the kids code and invent their own animations, the results of their work appears on the screen in real time. The lessons help the kids to understand programming as something useful, engaging, and not scary! The numbers so far: 5 trips, 13 lessons, 193 students. And we’ve only just begun!

hello.code() is our own creation, and we also support external initiatives:

  • The Future project that promotes science and technology among youth. The project already collaborates with more than 1,250 schools all around Ukraine!
  • Effective and unifying communications for educators aimed to raise awareness of non-violent communication by training teachers, psychologists, and principals.

Tech and Science

The Ukrainian scientists from the the Antarctic Vernadsky Research Base are exploring the problems of microplastics in the oceans. We supported the researchers with:

  • protected laptops for extreme conditions
  • A satellite dish and Wi-Fi
  • components for the computers and research equipment
  • …. And a coffee machine (They never had one before)!

Mind-blowing fact: The MacPaw flag has been waving in Antarctica since May 22, 2019.


People in need

From the very beginning, we’ve divided this direction into two parts: kids & the elderly.

Confeteens – A conference for teenagers

We launched #Confeteens, a conference for teenagers! We invited the students from a Kyiv school to participate in their first conference for one day. There were 11 Macpawian speakers, 17 workshops, networking, and an afterparty with our company’s band!

The Kids of Tsybli

We also provided assistance to an orphanage in Tsybli, including:

  • collected clothes for the children
  • decorated the orphanage for the winter holidays
  • held a training for the teachers, educators and psychologists about burnout prevention
  • repaired the orphanage’s floor, renovated the kitchen, and purchased dishwashers

Elderly – Taking care of the older generation

The LIFELOVER Foundation came up with the project, and MacPaw joined this initiative to support a series of activities like Nordic walking, English lessons and basic computer training, and collecting clothes for elderly people’s needs. We also purchased two houses where the elderly can get free hot lunches. Every Friday, a pair of Macpawians hand out food to elderly people. During the quarantine, this has been put on hold, but we’re finding new ways to share our care.


Ukraine

MacPaw also strongly believes in supporting the future of the Ukrainian nation. As such, it has also been involved in the following projects:

  • Supported the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, a 10-month academic training fellowship hosted at Stanford University.
  • Invested in Promprylad.Renovation, an innovation center on premises of the Ivano-Frankivsk Promprylad plant.
  • Supplied firefighters who put out the fires in Chernobyl forests in April, 2020 with 600 respirators, gloves, field ration kits, potable water, snacks, and crates of candy bars.
  • Sponsored a trip by NeuraBl!nk, the first First Robotics Competition-team in Ukraine, so they could represent the country in a competition in Turkey.

Reaction to COVID-19

The pandemic disrupted the daily routine of almost all Ukrainians.

The MacPaw team purchased:

  • 2,000 protective suits for Ukrainian doctors from China in April 2020.
  • 5 ventilators. It was important to find ventilators that would work in conditions in Ukrainian medical facilities. That’s why the expert opinion of doctors was a key factor in the selection of the right devices. The machines will be placed in hospitals that are treating people infected with COVID-19.
  • plastic materials and the transfer of 3D-printers to more than 30 makerspaces, fablabs and individual makers who are printing protective screens for doctors using this equipment.
  • 2,000 food kits for the elderly, children affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and people with disabilities in Kyiv. The older generation is especially vulnerable to COVID-19, so keeping seniors safe is a priority. Grocery kits were delivered to homes of elder Kyivans. In addition, 390 food kits were donated to children with disabilities who live with only one parent.

Mine risk education project with UNICEF

This is our one and only project developed with a global organisation. MacPaw, UNICEF Ukraine, the IT Ukraine association, and WeAR Studio are launching a VR product to educate children of eastern Ukraine about the risk of landmines.

According to UNICEF, one in three children in eastern Ukraine has been injured by mines and explosives left behind by the ongoing conflict. More than 430,000 children live in areas along the line of contact. However, only 57% of children under the age of 12 interviewed in the armed conflict zone were able to identify explosive devices in a study.

The WeAR Studio is developing a virtual reality program, and MacPaw is contributing VR glasses.


Finally

All of the above is actually the SHORT version of a much longer story about the good deeds born from the company’s birthday celebration. The best thing is that MacPawCares projects will continue to roll on!

P.S.: Would you like MacPawCares stickers for your Mac? Share a story about your favorite project in a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post and include the #MacPawCares and #MacPawStory tags. On August 18, we’ll announce the winners and send them the gifts!