63 million individuals volunteer annually in the United States, totaling more than 8.7 billion hours of time. We’re proud to give back to the communities we serve, not just with money and resources, but also talent and time. We surveyed several of our associates to find out why giving back is important to them.
Faith Mission Community Kitchen
How long have you been involved with Faith Mission Community Kitchen? 5 years.
Why is giving back to this organization important to you? I do it not only for the people whom I am serving food to, but also for the people who work in the kitchen as their full time job. Some of these people used to live in the shelter. Some of them work 5am to 8pm, six days a week. Without the volunteers that come to the kitchen, they would get no breaks. I don’t get a lot of free time, but this just happens to be something that fits really well into my schedule and helps a lot of people.
What does this involvement entail? The last Sunday of every month, myself and a rotating group of friends volunteer in the kitchen by food prepping, serving women’s lunch and men’s lunch, and cleaning/dishes to help the kitchen staff.
What inspired you to donate your talents and time to this particular organization? I went the first time when a friend invited me, and it was my first experience volunteering for an organization like this. It was amazing to see the amount of people who came to the lunch services, meaning the amount of people who were in need and receiving this amazing service from this unique place. The kitchen workers are also amazing people who work so hard. Faith Mission is the only kitchen in Columbus that serves free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
Do you feel that philanthropy is an important talent to bring to the workplace? Yes, it opens your eyes to how much you can actually do to impact someone’s life and how much people in your community are in need.
Columbus Urban League Young Professionals
Why is giving back important to you? Service is and has been a core value of mine since early childhood. It may not have been intuitive at the time but I feel I was being groomed for servant leadership. My family never had a lot but we were taught to give what we had or do what we could and not worry about anything else.
How long have you been involved with the Columbus Urban League Young Professionals? I've been a member of CULYP for three years and have served on the Executive Leadership Board for the last two years. Our mission is to support and promote the initiatives of the Columbus Urban League, which is a community-based advocacy organization. The National Urban League is one of the oldest organizations in the US promoting equal and equitable access to resources for our community. We are excited that Columbus is celebrating our centennial this year.
What does this involvement entail? As part of my role on the Executive Leadership Board, I am co-chair of the Personal & Professional Development Committee. We believe that the first step in strengthening our communities is by making sure that our future leaders have the tools both personally and professionally to prosper in their endeavors. We do this by providing access to opportunities and resources through interactive and engaging programs and workshops. In addition to my leadership responsibilities, I also represent the organization in various community service activities including but not limited to Meals on Wheels, Change for Change Education Scholarships for High School Seniors in Franklin County, serving as a sleep ambassador and supporting donation drives for Celebrate One (Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force).
What inspired you to donate your talents and time to this particular organization? My initial involvement was through my employer where I served as a panelist educating the members on career opportunities and development topics. It was important to become more invested from a service standpoint, and increase my local political awareness and social responsibility in the community that I lived. Since I am not from Ohio, this was my "in" with learning about the community, gaining access to community leaders, and ultimately being provided the ability to serve.
Do you feel that philanthropy is an important talent to bring to the workplace? Definitely! Giving my time, talent, and resources has always been an opportunity to gain intangible tools such as empathy and compassion for others which I feel is important not just in my personal life but in the workplace as well. It is a constant area of growth for me which I feel is critical being in the field of Human Resources.
Are you involved with any other organizations in the community? I am involved with the Columbus Young Professionals which was also instrumental in cultivating the love I have for Columbus as well as the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio which helps promote HR best practices and education through community outreach activities. I am on the Student Services committee where we work with local colleges and universities as HR advisors, mentors, and offer annual scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in HR. This year will be my third year participating in Pelotonia which is a grassroots movement to end cancer.
What's another organization or cause you'd like to become involved with? As a new mom, my goal this year is to complete the commitments that I have through the end of the year and not sign up for anything else in the meantime. I've made a promise to my husband that I must keep! *smile* When I decide to reengage, I am not sure where I will land but I hope to have another opportunity to serve on a community board and participate in activities that I can include my son in to help instill in him what was instilled in me as a child.
Fry Out Cancer
Why is giving back important to you? There is an amazing spirit of philanthropy in Columbus and there are so many worthy causes. In addition to the impact of the philanthropy itself, my wife and I wanted to do something to teach our children about the importance of giving back and doing our part to help the greater good.
When did you organize Fry Out Cancer? I kind of started Fry Out Cancer accidentally. People told me that my fried turkeys were amazing, so I thought that I'd turn that skill into something for a good cause. Back in 2013, I spent all of Thanksgiving Day using one turkey fryer to fry about 10 turkeys. We raised about $1,000 but there was demand for more. That's when Fry Out Cancer was born.
What is the mission of this organization? Fry Out Cancer raises money for cancer-related charities (specifically The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute) while also providing fried turkeys to families in need on Thanksgiving.
What inspired you to donate your talents and time to this particular cause? Everyone knows someone who has been personally affected by cancer. We wanted to do something to help fund cancer research. The funds raised by Fry Out Cancer are split evenly between the Pediatric Brain Cancer Research Fund and the Ovarian Cancer Research and Education Fund in Gynecology at The OSUCCC - James. Both of those particular cancers have affected people close to our family.
Do you feel that philanthropy is an important talent to bring to the workplace? Absolutely. I've been so lucky to have colleagues rally around me and volunteer their time and talents to support Fry Out Cancer. Not only does it allow everyone to support a great cause, but it creates really nice team bonding opportunities with a focus on something outside of our everyday job responsibilities.
Are you involved with any other organizations in the community? I recently completed nine years on the Temple Israel Board of Trustees for the Ohio University Hillel as well as the Dean's Advisory Council at the Ohio University Scripps College of Communication.
What's another organization or cause you'd like to become involved with? At this point, I am fully committed to Fry Out Cancer's growth and future success. In 2017, we fried 60 turkeys (that's more than 800 pounds!) and raised more than $16,000 for The OSUCCC - James. Since 2014, Fry Out Cancer has raised more than $31,000 for cancer-related charities. In 2018, we'd love to fry 100 turkeys and raise $20,000.