Organization: Various nonprofit organizations and Associated Bank-sponsored community events
Volunteer Service: Since 2011
How did you first get involved in the community?
I started with Associated Bank in the fall of 2011 during our annual United Way campaign and Days of Caring activities. I was impressed by the company’s commitment to the community and it motivated me to get involved in whatever capacity I could. I figured if it was that important to my company—that they were willing to put resources behind a volunteer program and provide colleagues with volunteer time off—that I should take advantage of it.
In what types of volunteer activities have you been involved?
I have been involved in a broad range of activities because I usually go with whatever fits into my schedule. I’ve volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, On Broadway Inc., various veterans groups, our Colleague Resource Group events, Associated Bank’s community events and more.
How have you stayed engaged in the community this year through virtual volunteerism?
Every year I try to volunteer at least 50 hours to receive Associated Bank’s $250 grant for the nonprofit of my choice. Having eight hours of VTO makes it easy to get the first few hours in.
In the current environment, nonprofit organizations have a greater need than ever. I always keep my eyes open for opportunities. The Roots in Our Community calendar has been a very helpful resource, making it simple to sign up and follow registration instructions. It’s where I found my most recent independent activities, like the virtual Bellin Run, Earth Day recycling and On Broadway’s trash clean up.
What is the most rewarding part of volunteering?
It’s nice to know that you’re helping others in the community. I have been thanked many times by people passing by while I volunteer outdoors. Just recently, I had a few homeowners come outside to express their gratitude for my trash clean up with On Broadway. People are so grateful when you give back.
What have you learned about the community through your involvement?
It takes everyone to make it a community—it will only be as good as the effort we put into it. We have to be the change. So, if you’re a proponent of something, get involved and make sure it happens. If you don’t, who will?
What advice would you give other colleagues looking to volunteer?
Just start small and do something. Use your VTO and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves. The bank pays you to volunteer eight hours, and people spend a lot of time organizing events that they just need people to show up and help get the work done.
Virtual volunteerism looks a little different, but the need is still out there. You just have to spend some time finding safe ways to get involved. Our communities definitely benefit from your extra effort.