How Thomas used his Talent for Good
About Move for Charity
Move for Charity is an internal fundraising run originally created to raise money for our international partner Operation Smile. It first started as a fundraising initiative within the Medical Devices department and has expanded to several sites in Switzerland. Johnson & Johnson supports this event by duplicating the money raised by the participating employees. In order to also have a local impact, today donations are split 50/50 between Operation Smile and local organizations chosen by the event sites.
Thomas Oberli works as a Senior Sales Consultant for Medical Devices in Zug. He has been engaged in charitable work for many years, dedicating his free time to raising funds for local charities. “I had the experience that just giving money to charities is not as rewarding as taking action, participating and meeting those people who are impacted by the actions.”
Thomas learned about Move for Charity from the Zuchwil J&J site, where it has been a popular event for many years and a successful way of generating funds for Operation Smile. Knowing what an impact the event can have, both on employees and for Operation Smile, Thomas decided to launch Move for Charity in Zug. Move for Charity has now expanded to multiple Swiss J&J sites. “I was amazed that a small group of people was able to raise so much money. The generosity and work of the people participating was truly inspiring. Year after year we wanted to make it bigger and grow.”
In 2019, Thomas hosted the Move for Charity in Zug, in a new shape and form. Together with the Community Impact team, for the first time ever, J&J organized a so called “Unified” run. Unified is a Special Olympics program, through which people with and without disabilities train together. As a way to continue our work to foster a more inclusive society, we invited our partners Special Olympics Switzerland and Zuwebe to participate. The result was an amazing event where J&J employees, Zuwebe clients and Special Olympics athletes were running or walking alongside each other. ”It was a strong experience of integration and multicultural blending. True to the J&J Credo, we should promote all those ideas to include and not differentiate.”
Thanks to his contribution in expanding Move for Charity and, as a result, increasing the funds raised for Operation Smile, Thomas was invited to participate in an Operation Smile mission in India in 2019. There he got the chance to see first-hand how the work of Operation Smile truly improves people’s lives, and how the funds raised back in Switzerland helps making this possible. His role as a J&J ambassador was to offer support to the medical team with administrative work, mission documentation and providing support for the families. “I didn’t know what to expect. There were about 200 families with children in need of surgery. I quickly realized how much help is demanded. Being there onsite and working directly with the families and the teams was incredibly rewarding.”
Click here to watch Thomas' Video: