Mayor Michael Hancock said volunteering is all about “what you do when no one else is looking.”
National Volunteer Week kicked off at Mile High United Way on Tuesday, April 9. The week was filled with activities, conversations, and celebrations all around volunteering and uniting as one community in service to our neighbors in Metro Denver and beyond.
Bright and early on Tuesday morning, people gathered at Mile High United Way to hear from a panel of corporate social responsibility leaders on how they engage their employees authentically in the community – in ways that fit both their business goals and their culture.
Pattie Money from SendGrid shared how employees “want meaning – they want to be able to give back in a meaningful way to the community they live in.” Karla Baise from Odell Brewing Company couldn’t agree more. “It’s why we wrap our arms around the community. People want to be a part of the community and also give back to it. There’s power there – in that kind of unity.”
Allie Pisching, Community Development for the Denver Broncos, made a point that it’s all about “bringing people together.” And that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday when volunteers from Bank of America, Best Buy, Capital One, ClickFox, the Denver Broncos, TIAA, and UpPurpose gathered at Mile High United Way to participate in volunteer activities to benefit the community.
Over 100 volunteers gathered to complete more than 10 volunteering projects and to celebrate the opening and ribbon cutting of the TIAA Volunteer Center at Mile High United Way. Blankets were made, science fair awards were created, STEM kits were built, stress balls were made, and inspirational notes were written – all to benefit children in Metro Denver going through standardized testing and more.
“We want these kids to know that standardized testing is hard but they can get through it. And we’re proud of them,” Best Buy volunteers said.
“Building these kits creates a real sense of community. You’re not just existing alongside one another. Events like these motivate you to help those around you and give back all year.”
The Denver Broncos couldn’t agree more. “It’s a humbling experience. We’re giving back to a community that’s done so much for us.”
On Wednesday, volunteers were just amazed by the comradery and inclusivity the day brought.
“This experience was an entirely different approach to traditional volunteering for me. Creating these science kits was fun and so creative,” noted one Bank of America volunteer.
“This is one of the most well organized volunteering experiences I’ve had. You really felt welcomed and brought in, in a thoughtful way. You understand the need and why it was important to make an award for a child who entered the science fair.”
And that’s the exact sentiment Mile High United Way wanted to create for its volunteers. Caitlin Henkel, Volunteer Manager, said that “Inclusivity is about breaking down barriers while we’re working and while we’re serving.”
TIAA employees couldn’t be more proud to be part of the celebration that day. “We are happy to serve those who are committed to serving others.”
To close out the celebratory week, there was a Community Champions awards event at Mile High United Way on Thursday evening to honor and celebrate eight of its corporate partners. This celebration honored corporate partners and individuals for their exceptional philanthropic investment and commitment to our community through their partnership with Mile High United Way.
A number of the awards include the word “Hope.”
When asked what it meant to receive the Champion of Hope award, Burns & McDonnell Vice President, Dan Korinek, shared that “Mile High United Way provides hope for those less fortunate. Everyone should have access to opportunities despite different circumstances. We are helping to provide a sense of hope in our community through our partnership with United Way.”
Christina Robison of Anadarko and member of Mile High United Way’s Catalyst Society shared that “Hope is everything. This is where I want to raise a family; I want to be an active part of this community. Hope is believing in a better tomorrow and working towards it. That’s what we’re doing.”
Mile High United Way is proud to congratulate all of its winners:
Burns & McDonnell, Champion of Hope
McKinsey & Company, Champion of Hope
Anadarko Petroleum, Champion of Hope
PNC Bank, Spirit of Hope
KeyBank of Colorado, Best Digital Activation
TIAA, Best Volunteer Initiative
Empower Retirement, Best Giving Theme
Mortenson Construction, Best Corporate Match Program
Catalyst Society, Brian Smith Award for MVP in a Campaign
Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way, closed out the celebratory evening by saying that, “All of us in this room – that’s what makes Denver great. We are all standing united and working towards making Colorado great.”
What a close to National Volunteer Week. “Together, we are leaving a legacy of volunteering at Mile High United Way.” Yes, Mayor Hancock, we certainly are.
Inspired by the commitment and solidarity of all of the amazing volunteers this week? Click here to learn more about how you can join us on June 7, 2019 for the inaugural Denver Day of Service with the Denver Broncos.