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Press release from CNW Group

Manulife's DRIVE TO 125 campaign a success

Monday, December 17, 2012

Manulife's DRIVE TO 125 campaign a success12:45 EST Monday, December 17, 2012Canadians volunteer over 130,000 hours for charityCanadians surpass goal of 125,000 hoursSociété pour les Enfants Handicapés du Québec receives $10,000 donationWATERLOO, ON, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Launched during National Volunteer Week in April 2012, Canadians collectively pledged just over 130,000 hours of volunteer work to causes near and dear to their hearts during Manulife Financial's DRIVE to 125 initiative.In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Manulife began the DRIVE to 125 social-cause campaign to help encourage and promote volunteerism by encouraging Canadians to collectively pledge 125,000 volunteer hours. "At Manulife we believe that every volunteer, every volunteer act and every hour given back is an investment in the future of all Canadians," said Nicole Boivin, Chief Branding and Communications Officer at Manulife Financial. "The fact that we surpassed our goal is a great testament to the generosity and giving nature of our citizens."Promoted on the Get Volunteering Facebook page, Canadians were asked to pledge volunteer hours and register for a chance to win a donation for a charity of their choice. The campaign ended on December 5th, 2012, a date recognized worldwide as the United Nation's International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.The draw winner was DRIVE to 125 participant Marc-Antoine Charette. He has directed the $10,000 donation to the Société pour les Enfants Handicapés du Québec/Quebec Society for Disabled Children."I was thrilled to find out I was the DRIVE to 125 winner," shared Marc-Antoine Charette. "Manulife's donation will enable the Quebec Society for Disabled Children's volunteers and employees to continue their important work with disabled kids and, on their behalf, let me say thank you!""For 85 years, no one has worked more passionately for the Quebec Society for Disabled Children than our volunteers -the selfless people who keep us going," said Ronald Davidson, Executive Director. "That's why we're taking up Manulife's initiative to inspire a whole new generation of volunteers like Marc-Antoine. Their contribution will help the most vulnerable in our communities reach their full potential."Highlights from DRIVE to 125, including a breakdown of the pledged volunteer hours by category and region, can be found on the Get Volunteering Facebook page."We are so pleased with the results from the campaign," added Ms. Boivin. "We had learned through the recent Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating that less than half of all Canadians volunteered between 2007 and 2010 and we wanted to encourage more people to give back. We thank everyone who pledged hours and made an investment of time in their community."About Manulife's commitment to volunteerismEvery day Manulife helps Canadians prepare for their future. The Manulife Volunteer Commitment focuses on helping Canadians build a better future on three important levels: by inspiring Canadians to want to get involved and give back; by supporting initiatives that help Canadians match their unique skills and talents with meaningful volunteer opportunities; and by engaging Canadians in the idea of volunteerism and its value to the future of our country.  To learn more, visit www.manulife.ca  or Get Volunteering on Facebook.About Manulife FinancialManulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients 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 also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$515 billion (US$523 billion) as at September 30, 2012. 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 manulife.com.SOURCE: Manulife Financial CorporationFor further information: Media contact:  Tracy Van Kalsbeek Manulife Financial 519-594-4697 tracy_vankalsbeek@manulife.com