“Being a full-time employee and mom, I always thought I was too busy to volunteer,” said Margaret Coleman, the director of digital platforms for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand. “But even two hours of your time can positively impact someone else’s life.”
At a time when families are gathering around their holiday tables and placing presents underneath their Christmas trees, many individuals remember, and help, those who may not have the same opportunities. For Certified Angus Beef ® brand staff members, keeping that top of mind during the holiday season and beyond has been a focus for many years.
The brand’s ACT (Action for Community Teamwork) committee, which was headed by Administrative Assistant Joanna Ruegsegger, began the focus on volunteering more than 10 years ago. Its purpose was to evaluate and implement service opportunities for the brand’s employees to contribute to the community through volunteerism. One of those opportunities was, and still is, the Wayne County Children Services’ Christmas ‘Make-A-Wish’ program.
The program is designed to assist children and families in need for the holiday season. Volunteers purchase and wrap gifts for the kids, and then the caseworkers work as elves to distribute them. This year, brand staff sponsored 13 children.
“Certified Angus Beef LLC has always put a focus on volunteerism and giving back to the community,” Ruegsegger says. “Through volunteer opportunities, like ‘Make-A-Wish,’ employees’ awareness is raised to the needs of the area. The teamwork and shared moments they experience while volunteering together fosters a sense of community within the office, as well.”
The ACT committee served well during its reign, but now, brand employees take volunteerism in their own hands, using four personal and four team paid-time-off hours to volunteer in and around Wayne County, Ohio, where the brand is headquartered. Team members working remotely in home offices are given the same support and encouragement to volunteer in their own local communities.
In Ohio, team members assist with organizations like Hospice, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Wayne County Humane Society and Children Services, People to People and therapy dog groups—just to name a few.
A few weeks ago, the brand’s communications team used a few of its hours to organize Children Services’ Closet of Hope. Twelve team members packaged diapers, hung clothes, folded blankets and more.
“Our Closet of Hope was started by a past volunteer, with the purpose to provide children that are removed from their homes with a three-day supply of clothing, along with a blanket for comfort,” says Lisa Kopczinsky, Wayne County Children Services’ volunteer coordinator. “The closet is run by volunteers, who shop for items and organize donations, as well as donators.”
It’s just one of many ways people can help others, in large or small ways, during the holiday season and beyond.