By Jena Patterson
A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to volunteer at Dare to Care Food Bank, a Louisville-based food distribution network that partners with over 300 other organizations and has provided over 15 million meals to the community in the past year. RunSwitch PR proudly serves Dare to Care in a professional capacity–developing social media content and supporting their overall PR efforts—and we believe in their mission on a personal level, so we wanted to volunteer to support their mission as well.
We arrived at Dare to Care’s warehouse on Fern Valley Road on a hot and sunny Friday morning. I was unsure of what to expect; some of my colleagues have worked with Dare to Care on various projects and had more of a grasp of their day-to-day operations than I did. However, I’m not sure any of us expected to have so much fun volunteering that morning.
Our job was to sort and pack frozen meat for distribution to Dare to Care’s partner agencies. Very similarly to how we operate in the RunSwitch office environment, our team split up the tasks and everyone specialized in a different area of the assembly line to make the task ahead move as quickly and efficiently as possible. From making boxes to packing meat and sending the boxes down the assembly line to be weighed and shipped, we flew through the work, laughing and enjoying the company of our colleagues. Even better, we knew that our contribution would help feed the 1 in 6 people in our community who are food insecure and lack the resources to know where their next meal is coming from.
We loved our time volunteering for Dare to Care, but our efforts to give back don’t stop there.
In the past, I’ve volunteered with Supplies Over Seas, an organization that distributes surplus medical supplies, in addition to groups like Kids Against Hunger. Emily Olesh, Account Coordinator, is a proud Big Sister to a 7th grade girl through Big Brothers Big Sisters and loves spending time with her “Little.” Charissa Acree, Vice President, volunteers for Louisville’s March of Dimes, the American Advertising Federation of Louisville and will support St. Vincent De Paul this year as part of the Ignite Louisville Class of 2015.
As professionals, we are constantly encouraged to “network” and we’re told that networking is an essential part of our development. But oftentimes, e forget to include community engagement and service in that concept.
At RunSwitch, I’ve had the unique opportunity to work alongside group of people who are focused on doing an outstanding job for our clients, often going above and beyond to meet their needs. Outside of the office, we are encouraged to be more than “residents,” we are encouraged to be active “citizens” of the community we call home – and I’m proud to be a member of a firm that encourages this well-rounded approach to professional life and volunteerism.