Communications Operations Lead Markus Tenbergen is a true HAVI hero. Since joining our European head office in Duisburg, Germany in 2000, he has worked tirelessly with his team to raise funds for local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHCs).
A place to call home
RMHCs play a vital role in local communities through programs which improve the health and well-being of children. Specifically, children facing a serious medical crisis and extended stays in the hospital. RMHCs provide a place to call home, so that parents and siblings can stay close to their hospitalized loved ones at little to no cost.
“As a parent, I know how scary it is to have a child in the hospital, and how desperately that child wants their loved ones nearby,” Markus says. “Myself and my colleagues have seen firsthand how important this charity is for the families and children it supports. We are humbled by their work and proud to do whatever it takes to help them continue.”
Markus began his charity work as soon as he joined HAVI. He had organized fundraisers in previous roles, so he was a natural choice to organize the annual charity golf tournament in nearby Krefeld. With his help, the scope of the tournament grew beyond golf to include a variety of fun activities, and the number of participants grew dramatically to include not only HAVI colleagues, but also their families and friends from local McDonald’s franchises.
Making an impact
Another example of Markus’ impact is in supporting RMHC Essen. Since it opened its doors in 2005, Markus has made sure that HAVI lends a helping hand at events such as their annual summer party - organizing face painting for the children and the chance for them to see what it’s like to drive one of our delivery trucks. “Fundraising is valuable,” Markus adds. “But seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and the impact volunteering our time makes in their lives is priceless.”
Markus also sprung into action when the renowned ‘Homeride’ annual charity bike ride launched in Germany in 2015. Since then, he has brought together a team of HAVI riders and a dedicated support crew for this extraordinary 500 km (310 mile) race, which takes place over just 24 hours. During the five years they have participated, the HAVI cycling team has received tens of thousands of euros in donations and raised awareness about the important work done by RMHCs.
Connecting people with solutions
Markus sees his charity work as a natural extension of his passion for his job. “For me, work is about much more than what you achieve in your day job,” he says. “It’s about connecting problems with solutions – and connecting people - in ways that bring benefits to your colleagues and customers, as well as your community.”