February 10, 2015

Community Involvement

See what we are up to in our local community of Indianapolis!

Tim's Volunteer Experience

Why did you pick this nonprofit to volunteer your time and skills?

This non-profit partnership was offered though my church as a service project to serve the homeless in Indianapolis. I picked this project because it offered meet a real and basic human need in our community: to provide the frame walls that will be assembled into a two-story home near Lucas Oil Stadium for a family in need of shelter.

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What did your experience teach you?

That serving matters and makes a difference in a real and tangible way.  Not only to those directly impacted by the service, but also with those that you serve alongside to meet those needs.

How were you serving at your non-profit? How did your service impact people’s lives?

I was a team leader for one of thirteen teams building the 53 walls to later be assembled into a two story house in downtown Indianapolis, and given to a needy family. I can only imagine the hope that is provided to families who are given shelter where they didn’t have any.  

 

TechTrade’s Volunteer Experience

A group of employees from our sister company, TechTrades Corp, volunteered stocking food at Gleaners Community Cupboard. Please watch the video we made and vote for it! We could win $500 to $50,000 for Gleaners through the Super Service Challenge!.

If you want to win money for the non-profit of your choice, check out the contest rules at www.SuperServiceChallenge.com.

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Leanna’s Volunteer Experience

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Why did you pick this nonprofit to volunteer your time and skills?

I heard there was a need through Agape Therapeutic Riding Center, for help at a day camp at Bradford Woods for the equine therapy part of the camp. Upon arrival I found out the campers were a small group of teen girls who suffer from chronic pain from a diverse range of ailments. When I met them and heard some of their stories I was moved by their courage and positive attitudes despite being in pain.

How were you serving at your non-profit? How did your service impact people’s lives?

I got to first of all be a friend and listening ear for them and also was horse handler during the riding portion of the therapy.

What did your experience teach you?

I saw the beauty of these girls' spirits that decided at some point to not crumble under their physical limitations and pain. They threw themselves into trying new things like grooming and riding a horse for the first time or leading a horse through an obstacle course while they were blindfolded. The girls all took turns verbally direct the one who was blindfolded as an exercise in trust but also how to confidently communicate their needs. One girl I spoke to spent much of her time in a wheel chair because of MSA but told me about her plans for college and her interest in opening a vintage boutique someday. When I feel like complaining about not getting enough sleep or want to give up on something, I will think of them.

 

 

Nikki’s Volunteer Experience

Why did you pick this nonprofit to volunteer your time and skills?

Participating in the Riley Prom is something I have wanted to do for the last few years. Deserving child + makeup & glitter = happiness and joy for everyone involved! Last year, one of my neighbors got a new job at Riley and I asked her to please let me know when the preparations would start for the 2015 Prom because I wanted to participate. She contacted me in March to give me the information regarding Riley’s “Under the Big Top”.

How were you serving at your non-profit? How did your service impact people’s lives?

I served as one of the makeup artist. It was impactful from the aspect that these amazing kids and their parents saw how many people were ready and willing to make their evening a night to remember. The appreciation the family’s had for all that came to pamper them was overwhelming. Hearing the stories of some of the kid’s diseases and what they have been through, and seeing the smile on their faces when they saw themselves in the mirror was an incredibly heartwarming experience. It was awesome to be able to help a child and their parents forget, if only for one night, that they were in a hospital and why they were there.

What did your experience teach you?

The experience definitely made me reflect on how blessed I am in my life to have never had to deal with or overcome any type of illness or infirmity and how we should not take anything for granted. Whatever we are good at, we should always find a way to give back to others. I will be participating in this event every year if possible because the smiles and joy on the faces of these very special children was priceless.

Denise’s Volunteer Experience

Why did you pick this nonprofit to volunteer your time and skills?

I had worked at Gleaner's Food Bank before. I was very impressed with their organization and all of the people in the city of Indianapolis who are touched by the various programs they provide.

How were you serving at your non-profit? How did your service impact people’s lives?

I was scanning donor boxes of food so they received proper credits for their donation. Gleaners is a very large organization and they reach out to thousands of families and children throughout Indiana. Very rewarding and humbling. You feel so blessed when you leave.

What did your experience teach you?

That I am blessed daily!

Adam’s Volunteer Experience

Why did you pick this way to volunteer your time and skills?

My brother Ricky has a rare genetic eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. RP a degenerative retina disease that has left him almost completely blind. Ricky had a successful wrestling career in high school and college, overcoming his disability to compete at a very high level. He has recently been named to the USA Para World Team in the sport of Judo. He is traveling and competing with that team in hopes of making the 2016 and 2020 USA Paralympic teams in the sport of Judo. I am helping Ricky with his fundraising, travel, and overall management of this process to allow him as much time as possible to train and focus on sharpening his skills.

What did you do and how did your service impact people’s lives?

I travel with the entire USA world team, all of whom struggle with various degrees of blindness. I act as a chaperone to Ricky and the other athletes on the team. Helping in any way I can. In addition to the complications that come with blindness, most of the tournaments Ricky fights in are international. This creates a language obstacle as well. My time with the team allows them to focus on competition and not have to worry as much about all the little things that accompany international travel.

What did your experience teach you?

As I have been reminded throughout my life having two brothers with a genetic degenerative eye disease, living in a conscious state of gratitude for our basic senses (particularly sight in this case) is important. So much of the world struggles with disabilities that are no fault of their own. Awareness of the needs these people have, and how simple it is for us to positively impact their lives, has given me tremendous appreciation for the basic functioning abilities that I was born with. I consider it a responsibility and a privilege to serve and assist those with disabilities.

Leanna’s Volunteer Experience

Why did you pick this nonprofit to volunteer your time and skills?

Agape combines 3 of my my favorite things. Children, horses and helping people. Agape is a therapeutic riding facility in Cicero, IN with 15 horses and hundreds of volunteers, instructors and students. Here are some of the many miracles that occur there every day. “Children who cannot see with their physical eyes, but we can see their big smiles and hear their infectious laughter as they revel in the pleasure of riding and controlling a big horse. A teen girl who has been deeply violated, learning to trust and to love again because of the growing connection of her wounded spirit with a gentle horse. A child with autism, unable to speak to his parents and those he loves, who begins to open up and talk by speaking the words, “Walk on!” to an Agape horse.

How were you serving at your non-profit? How did your service impact people’s lives?
I helped groom and tack up some of the lesson horses and I was trained as a side walker, which means I walked alongside the student on horseback, providing physical stability and I also engaged the student in conversation in a way that would keep them focused and interested in the activities. We played trivia games, balancing games with spoon and balls, following instructions, kickball, trotting, weaving between poles, hand/eye coordination activities, color association, relay races, encouraging team mates, and learning basic riding and grooming skills.

What did your experience teach you?
Those horses are saints with 4 hooves. They put up with a lot while keeping calm and patient. I didnt realize so many useful skills could be cultivated by fun and games! The cognitive and sensory therapy I got to be a part of was customized for the level of each student and their needs. Over the next few months of regular volunteering, I look forward to seeing the impact on each student firsthand.

Melissa’s Volunteer Experience

Why did you pick this nonprofit to volunteer your time and skills?

Wheeler Mission helps people who are truly in need and have nowhere else to turn.

How were you serving at your non-profit? How did your service impact people’s lives?

I helped with an event called Drumstick Dash. I filed applications and matched up paperwork. This event helps raise a lot of money for the mission.

What did your experience teach you?

Something as simple as helping with applications and paperwork can make a difference.