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AROBS, An Example of Social Involvement that Others Should Follow

Interview with Marina Boeriu, local representative for United Way Romania in Cluj-Napoca. (translated from Romanian).

During the successful collaboration between United Way Romania and AROBS, we had the opportunity to know Marina Boeriu.  Her impressive dedication and enthusiasm made us want to know her better, both as a professional and as a fellow human being.  We therefore requested an interview from Marina, who gladly accepted.

Here are her answers to our questions:

How did your collaboration with United Way start and what prompted you to join this team?

I think that wherever we go, we carry something from our past, something of the education we received, of the events that have marked our existence. As a child I had plenty of health problems and spent a lot of time in hospitals. To make matters worse, my father, a very strong man, got confined to a wheelchair in his prime. Trying to help him cope with this condition I immediately realized the lack of access ramps for people with disabilities rendered them completely helpless. Upon graduation from college I specialized in customer service and worked in service centers for various companies in Cluj. The next step in my career path was United Way, the ideal workplace for someone driven by the desire to help people in an efficient and organized way. This is a job that fulfills me more than anything else I could think of. When we work with people like you, the AROBS team, I really feel that our efforts are worthwhile, that we are not alone in our attempts to make the World a better place.

Is there a big difference between Western companies and those in Romania? Where does AROBS fit?

While Western companies already have a tradition in Corporate Social Responsibility, only a few companies in Romania are involved in such activities and often do it in an occasional and unsustainable way. I was amazed to discover at AROBS that I could speak from my heart, I was fully understood, and the AROBS team and I were resonating at the same things. The questions I got from the AROBS team during the campaign made me understand their spirit, the fact that my words were not falling on deaf ears. I really felt these people wanted to know how they can contribute and make a difference in their communities. I am sure that everyone in the company wanted to get involved, but had no idea what the best way to do it would be. United Way has provided them with an answer.

AROBS is a great example of how a company should be socially responsible investing in the community in which it operates.

How would you describe the 3 weeks of campaign spent with the AROBS team?

The campaign was a success, rich in events, one that can be given as an example to any company that wants to join the efforts of United Way. AROBS is a great example of unity and solidarity!  I had the opportunity to meet wonderful people; I cannot forget the AROBS Charity Committee without which I wouldn't have been able to send my message over to the entire team and especially to the donors and volunteers. I can only say that I really look forward to our next activities together, the evaluation of the projects, and even volunteering activities in the United Way community projects.

Following this collaboration, AROBS received a new “pair of glasses” through which we learned to see things differently and also to appreciate what we have.  As for you, what have you received from AROBS?

You are the first software company with which I worked; so far, I have only dealt with companies in the banking and financial sectors. I hadn't known what kind of campaign we would do, how it would be.  I knew some people would resonate with our projects, with what we do, but I could not imagine the extent.  We worked very well with your colleagues in the Charity Committee, planning together the campaign and the events. Despite anticipating a successful campaign, I was totally surprised by your generosity. You have reminded me the power of people’s unity with a common goal. 

What future plans has United Way and where do you see yourself in these plans?

United Way will remain faithful to its mission and so, we will try every year to be more efficient, to mobilize more resources in order to help as many people as possible.  This is not easy in times of crisis but such hardships might make us better and more generous.  Here in Cluj we want to attract more companies and to involve them in the community life, to grow slowly but surely.  And I still want to be a part of United Way because, in the evening, when I go home and look in the eyes of my son, I remember that my work day was for him and for the future of the community he is a part of.

We wish to thank Marina for the kindness with which she answered to our questions.