Today is Volunteer Recognition Day and we are so excited to recognize our colleagues that give back in their communities! We’ve asked our volunteering Vocian’s to share how/when they’ve given back, and we applaud each and every one of them. With Voce offices spread across the country, we are so proud to see efforts being done coast-to-coast!
Mary Gaulke, Content Strategist
Here in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida, I work with an organization called SURE (Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity). SURE is an alliance of churches and temples that researches local community challenges — like youth arrest and homelessness — and tries to figure out effective ways to address them politically — like introducing civil citations for youth offenders (so that they don’t have arrests on their permanent records) and setting up a special court designed to treat mentally ill homeless people fairly rather than just sending them to jail. Then we invite local leaders and politicians to a huge annual assembly and use our strength in numbers to encourage and pressure them to commit to act on our recommendations. During my years with SURE, I’ve taken part in the fascinating process of researching homelessness in our community and interviewing local experts on the matter. I’ve also had the privilege of speaking at the last two annual assemblies and was selected to serve on SURE’s Board of Directors. It’s been an incredible opportunity to explore using the power of my own voice, to learn about a side of Sarasota I never would have seen otherwise, and to help create lasting positive change.
Becky Edwards, Account Supervisor
In December 2015, a group of Voce employees volunteered at Glide Memorial – a local SF church that has been providing the community with various services since the 1960s. The group helped pack brownbag dinners and later handed them out to the community. Each year, over 787,000 meals are served to the local community. It was an extremely rewarding afternoon for everyone and we’ll be back next holiday season!
Beca Mueller, Account Manager
I’ve been an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America since 2012 when my son first joined Cub Scouts in Florida. I’ve enjoyed lending my PR/Comms experience to helping the parent committee better communicate within the Pack and externally with the community via website and social media updates. I’ve also had the honor to help plan and execute countless events at the District level. I’ve been up to my elbows in mud on countless campouts, built Pinewood Derby cars, taught boys how to cook over an open fire and enjoyed every minute of it. Now that my son has crossed over to Boy Scouts, I’ll lend my time and skills to a new group of young men and continue to the mission and values set forth by this amazing organization.
Randy Ksar, Vice President
I’ve been volunteering for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since 2001 doing over 30 endurance events (marathons, half-marathons, century bike rides, mountain bike rides) and fundraising over $200,000. The funds have made a huge difference in giving grants to researchers finding a cure and patient services such as financial aid, peer support groups and educational seminars. Cancer sucks and we need to make today the day we read in the news that there is a cure to cancer. On June 7, I’ll be co-organizing the inaugural Silicon Valley Kickball Classic where the top tech companies compete against each other in support of a great cause. Ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Also, check out this short video to learn more about my efforts.
Melissa Gaffney, Associate Client Executive
Every year I volunteer for a 3-day conference for the Girl Scouts of Northern California. I help to create and run workshops where girls learn to communicate effectively, lead meetings, and confidently make decisions. I get excited to come to the conference every year and see young women from diverse and sometimes underprivileged backgrounds become more confident in themselves and talk about furthering their education. It has been a rewarding experience to see these women grow!
Molly Wade, Account Supervisor
In March, six Voce ladies volunteered for an evening at the Princess Project, an organization that promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who could otherwise not afford them. We all signed up as “personal” shoppers, as each group of girls arrived, we were paired with one or two to help them comb the racks for a few dresses to try on. The best part was seeing how excited they were when they made their final choice!
Derek Perez, Senior Vice President
To me, during my early years, volunteering was just a waste of time, they were mostly Community Involvement programs that involved “working” on the weekends and or the evenings, for community service hours. Most of us performed such activities unwillingly, wondering about the countless number of things we could be doing with friends or family. Over time, I’ve come to realize that the simplest thing of helping others led to many other joys, including being a part of my community, a sense of achievement, new interest and hobbies and most of all meeting new people and contributing to a positive environment. Over the last 15 years, I’ve volunteered in a number of ways from coaching little league sports teams to serving on the board of those entities; working at elementary schools and middle schools to helping with reading and writing; serving meals at Thanksgiving and providing toys and clothes to those less fortunate during the Holidays; and of course raising funds through running and biking to help foundations. In the end, volunteering isn’t only about the benefit you provide, but its also about giving your own life more meaning.
Heather Brinckerhoff, Senior Client Executive
Since 2011 I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a Wish Granter. It’s been amazing to be able to give back to these kids that are fighting life-threatening illnesses. I really enjoy being a Wish Granter as I’m able to work closely with Wish families and Wish kids to discover their wish and help plan an experience that they’ll never forget. I love seeing the smiles on their faces as they enjoy their chosen wish, knowing that even if it’s for a day, they get to escape from the hardships they are going through at such a young age.