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When he’s not working, Heavy Equipment Technician Donal Magee likes to give back by donating his time with charities such as Camp Health, Hope and Happiness.  

Employee Volunteer Grants

“I found out Fort McMurray kids go to this camp, so ‘our’ kids go there. That’s one of reasons I wanted to give back,” says Syncrude employee Donal Magee.

Heavy Equipment Technician Donal Magee says he’s a big bulky guy, but there’s a wee heart in there. The people of Camp Health, Hope and Happiness (Camp He Ho Ha) would say it’s much bigger than he’s portraying.

“He’s a wonderful supporter of Camp He Ho Ha and an incredible individual,” says Joan Nielsen, Director of Donor Relations with the summer Camp for people with disabilities.

Not long after Donal moved to Fort McMurray from Ireland 20 years ago, he was invited to play in an archery tournament. Although Donal participated for the love of the sport, funds raised from the tournament benefited Camp He Ho Ha.

“We heard there was this archery tournament and we pledged money to attend,” explains Donal. “Ever since then, my wife and I have been going. We knew this was the right thing to do.”

This year marks their 20th anniversary attending the tournament. Last year alone, Donal and his wife raised $24,000 through pledges from friends and family.

Donal is no stranger to giving back. When he moved to town he began volunteering with the Search and Rescue teams. He’s also has been a long-standing volunteer firefighter with Syncrude and joined the fire team when he moved to Saprae Creek.

He says his career with Syncrude has allowed him to be fortunate enough to give. “Donating is just something you do. I never realized I was giving back as much until I spent time with the kids and saw first-hand how we’re helping.”

Donal and his family were invited to meet the kids at camp, and learned that it teaches you to be open. He says he couldn’t do it without all the support he’s received, and gives thanks to the people, including his friends, family and local businesses of Fort McMurray for their generosity.

“When you get to know the people, you understand they don’t care they’re disabled. They’re no different from my daughter or son and they’re like everybody else,” he says. “I found out Fort McMurray kids go to this camp, so ‘our’ kids go there. That’s one of reasons I wanted to give back.”

Located on Lake Isle, one-hour west of Edmonton, Camp Ho He Ha hosts around 750 campers each summer. Post-secondary students fill positions of camp counselors and no degree of disability is turned away. Funds Donal raises helps to subsidize camp registration for the participants. 

“These kids just want to have fun and we have fun with them. It is fantastic,” adds Donal.

Volunteering with non-profit organizations such as Camp He Ha Ho enables employees like Donal eligibility to receive a Good Neighbour Grant from Syncrude for their organization.

Syncrude is proud of our employees who volunteer

Syncrude is proud of our employees who volunteer and make vital contributions to their communities. To celebrate and encourage their efforts, we offer our employees volunteer and busing grants. We also support employees in their efforts toward lifelong learning with a matching educational grant.

In 2012, we distributed $116,000 to 70 non-profit organizations and another $80,000 through busing grants, thanks to employee and retirees who volunteer in the community.


Employee Volunteer Grants

Employees may apply for two $500 Employee Volunteer Grants a year, for separate organizations. To be eligible, employees must volunteer a minimum of 40 hours a calendar year to a non-profit organization.

Employees may apply for one $2,000 Busing Grant a year for an organization that has a youth/travel focus. To be eligible, employees must have volunteered a minimum of 40 hours with the group.

Syncrude awards the grants on a first-come, first-served basis, while the funds exist. We attempt to distribute funds evenly between the non-profit organizations that our employees support.

Volunteer and Bussing Grants will be processed once a month and depending on the timing of the application, it may take up to eight weeks for notification and a cheque to be forwarded directly to the organization.

Apply for the Employee Volunteer Grant (DOC 96 KB)

Apply for the Busing Grant (DOC 96 KB)

Eligible Volunteers:

  • Permanent full-time employees that have been employed for more than six months or permanent part-time employees that have been employed for more than one year or retired Syncrude employee
  • The employee/retiree must be currently involved with the organization and have volunteered a minimum of 40 hours before applying for a grant
  • The employee/retiree must be confirmed, active, continuing and unpaid by the organization (occasional involvement, advising, infrequent attendance at meetings or participating in intermittent fund-raising activities is not considered “active” involvement)
  • Volunteers who are active in more than one organization may apply on behalf of a maximum of two eligible organizations a year
  • Family members of employees are not eligible to apply
  • Syncrude employees seconded to educational institutions or non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply

Eligible Organizations:

  • A Canadian organization with a charitable business number issued by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (for more information visit the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency website)
  • Amateur Athletic Association (for youth only) or a non-profit organization as defined in the Canadian Income Tax Act
  • A Canadian public elementary or high school (kindergarten to grade 12) parent volunteer associations, for example a Parent Teacher Leadership Group (PTLG)
  • A project that contributes to a worthwhile community service and is broad-based in its reach to the community, such as training or workshops, etc.

Ineligible Organizations:

  • Any activity/organization where the individual applicant is the sole beneficiary
  • Organized labour, political parties, election campaigns and religious or cultural organizations
  • Organizations solely designed to provide a service to other Syncrude employees, such as social clubs
  • Major capital campaigns, travel expenses, meetings, conferences, symposiums and forum expenses, registration fees, remuneration, honorariums, scholarships, fellowships and living expenses
  • For-profit organizations
  • Any fundraising campaign that takes place at Syncrude during working hours where employees are asked to participate, for example the Syncrude Employee United Way Campaign
  • Clubs and activities where involvement is for one’s own pleasure and enjoyment or those that provide benefit only to the interest of the company or industry, or company employees and their families, or which represent a conflict of interest for the applicant.


Employee Education Grants

Syncrude will match employee contributions to accredited post-secondary institutions, to a maximum of $500 per calendar year, per employee.

Eligible educational institutions are those Canadian colleges and universities that are a member of either the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada or the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. They must be accredited post-secondary institutions authorized to issue receipts that are accepted by the federal government for tax deduction purposes.

Apply for a Matching Educational Grant