Manulife Financial announces major commitment to supporting volunteerism in
Canada

New signature cause program will focus on preparing Canadians to help build a better future

WATERLOO, ON, June 23 /CNW/ - Inspired by the longstanding community work of Manulife Financial employees and the financial advisors who represent the corporation, Manulife is making a major commitment to supporting volunteerism in Canada.

"Millions of Canadians rely on Manulife to help them prepare for the future. But there is another future that we all have a stake in building as well," says Paul Rooney, President and CEO, Manulife Canada. "Today, we're announcing that we're preparing Canadians to help build a strong future for Canada by making a commitment to supporting volunteerism across the country."

Volunteers are essential to addressing some of the country's biggest social challenges and problems. While many Canadians believe in the importance of volunteering and giving back, some find it difficult to know where to turn to find a volunteer opportunity. In response, Manulife is committed to inspiring Canadians to give back and to supporting initiatives that help Canadians match their unique skills and talents with meaningful volunteer opportunities.

"We see ourselves living this commitment in two key ways. First, we'll be reaching out to Canadians to inspire them about what volunteerism can and does mean to Canada, and to encourage them to find their own volunteer opportunity," says Nicole Boivin, Senior Vice-President, HR and Communications, Manulife Financial - Canadian Division. "Second, in partnership with Volunteer Canada and other leading non-profit organizations, we'll be supporting a host of initiatives which promote volunteer opportunities that capitalize on people's unique skills, talents and interests."

Manulife believes that every volunteer, every volunteer act, and every hour given back helps Canadians prepare to build a stronger future for Canada. And preparing for the future is something that Manulife gets behind every day.

"We're thrilled to be working with Manulife to harness the power of volunteerism," says Ruth MacKenzie, President, Volunteer Canada. "We look forward to creating a long-term partnership that will support a growing volunteer movement in this country."

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$446 billion (US$440 billion) as at March 31, 2010. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

About Volunteer Canada

Volunteer Canada is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada. Since 1977, the organization has been committed to increasing and supporting volunteerism and civic participation through ongoing programs, special projects and national initiatives, by developing resources and by engaging in research and training across the country. Working with volunteer centres, community and national organizations and businesses, Volunteer Canada actively leads national dialogues on how volunteerism is related to citizen engagement and civil society and provides leadership on issues and trends in the Canadian volunteer movement.

    
                        Manulife Volunteer Commitment
    

The Manulife Volunteer Commitment will focus on preparing Canadians to help build a better future on two important levels:

    
    -   Inspire: Manulife will inspire Canadians to want to get involved and
        give back by engaging them in the idea of volunteerism and its value
        to the future of our country.

    -   Support: Manulife will support initiatives that help Canadians match
        their unique skills and talents with meaningful volunteer
        opportunities.
    

Some examples of the Manulife Volunteer Commitment

    
    -   To increase the knowledge around volunteerism and build capacity of
        the sector to more effectively leverage the skills and abilities of
        volunteers, Manulife is commissioning a landmark research report on
        today's volunteers with Volunteer Canada and The Centre for Voluntary
        Sector Research and Development. The report will explore today's
        volunteers and potential volunteers, and learn who they are, what
        they're looking for and what they can offer.

    -   Manulife also wants to move volunteerism from behind the scenes to
        centre stage, so will be joining forces with CBC News and Outpost
        Magazine to bring Canada an all-new multi-media program putting
        volunteerism in the spotlight called Canada's Champions of Change.
        Starting June 28, 2010, this citizen-driven promotion will celebrate
        Canada's most passionate volunteers, and inspire a whole new
        generation to rise to the challenge.

    -   Manulife will be working with Volunteer Canada to create an online
        hub that will help Canadians find volunteer opportunities which match
        their interests, skills and schedule.
    

About Manulife's Employee Volunteerism Program

"Volunteerism has always been part of who we are as company," says Nicole Boivin, Senior Vice-President, HR and Communications, Manulife Financial - Canadian Division. "The driving force of Manulife's commitment will be, and always has been, our employees and their long tradition of giving back."

Last year alone, Manulife's employees donated more than 20,000 volunteer hours to issues that matter to them across Canada. Manulife also supports their Canadian Division employees on a number of fronts:

    
    -   Community Spirit Days offer all Canadian Division employees a day off
        with pay to volunteer for a charity of their choice.
    -   Employees who volunteer 25 hours or more for a registered charity can
        apply for a $500 grant for the charity through Helping Hands.
    -   Through Manulife's PowerMatch Program, employees that raise money for
        a registered fundraising event receive a match of up to $150.
    

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information: For further information: Tom Nunn, Assistant Vice President, HR and Communications, Manulife Financial, 1-877-782-2363, tom_nunn@manulife.com; Or Graham Machacek, Manager of Marketing & Communications, (613) 231-4371 ext. 226 OR (613) 266-9427, gmachacek@volunteer.ca


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890