There were 50,000 reasons for the people at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation to smile on Wednesday after a generous donation from former ServiCom employees was dropped off.
The former employees have been making a point to pay it forward for about two years now, after going through a difficult time themselves.
Nearly 600 ServiCom employees abruptly lost their jobs when the Sydney call centre closed in December of 2018.
"You can ask any employee who was here at that time, who went through that tragedy. You don't forget something like that," said Shauna Graham, vice president of operations at The Sydney Call Centre.
Donations quickly started coming in for the former employees to help unpaid workers get through the holiday season.
Weeks later the former staff received what they call a Christmas Miracle, after the call centre reopened under new ownership.
"When we reopened, one of the first initiatives that we launched was an employee donation program," said Graham. "We have a payroll program set up and the goal and focus of that was to try and focus on organizations. One each year to help other members of our community."
Last year, the call centre staff donated $25,000 to The Salvation Army – a group that helped them during their time of need.
Paula MacNeil, CEO of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, says the donation will help in several areas,including the cancer patient care fund and pediatrics.
"It's safe to say that most people who work in the call centre have been affected by either a child that they know… that's at the regional hospital or for cancer care," said MacNeil. "So, there's a good chance that that money that they raised will go directly to support people that they know."
"We just recently lost my mom back in November from cancer," said Jo-Ann Landry, an employee at The Sydney Call Centre. "It was a very rough time and I'd do whatever I can to help them back."
Shauna says employees raised half of the money and the company matched the amount to cover the rest. The group is already thinking about who they will pay it forward to next year.
"We will continue to pay it forward. We will always remember that," said Graham.