Caring people are what makes caring companies. At Criteo, we know that even the smallest act of kindness can brighten someone’s day. So, to celebrate Random Act of Kindness Day this Friday, February 17th, our Criteos Oliver, Anna, and Caitlin, shared four beautiful and inspiring stories.
A flight back to Romania
“Back when Criteo Barcelona was based in Torre Mapfre, people would take breaks in front of the building.” explains Oliver McCombe. “There, in amongst the tourist foot fall, homeless people would sometimes pass by, asking for cigarettes or food. The story is that of my former roommate and colleague Mihaela and of a homeless person from Romania who used to come here on a regular basis. Mihaela was Romanian and, once, she overheard him mutter in Romanian to himself. Intrigued, she sparked up a conversation and soon learned he had, in fact, left his country and ended up in Barcelona due to personal problems. Things didn’t go as planned and it seems he had been homeless for over a decade. She understood he still had family in Romania but couldn’t reach out to them. So, Mihaela took it upon herself to track them down and was able to find his niece on LinkedIn. I remember the niece was overcome as they had thought him dead due to the circumstances of his departure and complete lack of contact since then. Touched by his story, Mihaela decided to turn to the Criteo community and raise funds to help this man get a haircut, proper clothes, a mobile phone and even, a flight back home! Together with his family, she obtained a passport from the Romanian consulate in Spain. After many years, he was finally reunited with his family! I know the two keep in touch today from time to time.”
Another solidarity story from Barcelona
“The story I’d like to share is a very personal one. It involves Enrico and Rae, two colleagues who helped my family through a very difficult time.” shares Anna Shepyelyeva. “My brother and little sister flew the war in Ukraine and made it to Spain at the end of the summer. They both were about to start school but didn't have anything to start with. I tried to provide as many school supplies as I could, but I couldn’t afford to buy them a laptop (even a second hand one) so they could study. Having overheard my story, Rae and Enrico (whom I had never met before) reached out to me and donated their computer devices to my family. I was, and still am today, so grateful. They offered to support me, a total stranger, and it was such an incredible act of kindness. I will never forget it!”
There is no “I” in team...
Caitlyn Jones was kind enough to share two stories. “Back in April last year I was visiting the Barcelona office from NY. As I was having a tough week, I felt like staying on my own and hadn’t planned much around the city to be honest. I was working in the office half the time and vacationing half the time. But then, as I was working alone at a desk on my first or second night there, Rebeca, another Criteo, came up to me and said: “You’re Caitlyn Jones, right?” We had worked together in the past but almost exclusively via slack. I understood she knew I was in town and had made it a point to reach out to me. And I'm glad she did as my whole week completely turned around! I got to meet so many nice people from the Barcelona office. It felt so great to just feel included. Spending time with this crew turned out to be the highlight of my trip. I was touched by their quick and simple kindness as they invited me to join them and go out right away. Their kindness and simplicity made such a difference. Thank you again for making me feel so welcome!”
...nor at Criteo
“I encountered the same kind of kindness when visiting our Paris Office last April. I remember so many instances of kindness from Criteos on that trip: Tara being the most generous of apartment swappers; Justine taking valuable time out of her schedule to both have fun and give professional advice over lunch and then drinks; Konstantina similarly making so much time for me and treating me as someone who she’s known for far longer than she did; Dainora welcoming me SO graciously, playing tourist with me, and showing me around the city; and my colleagues Mike and Sam meeting up during a busy business visit for them and then ensuring I was safe on my travels. What I loved overall was everyone reminding me not to work during my holidays and to enjoy this time off — without guilt!”
An act of kindness doesn’t have to be huge to be meaningful. Sometimes, the simplest thing like bringing a Baklava to the office, is the nicest of things.
And you? Which act of kindness would you next want to give/ receive?