In the Office

Volunteer Day

In addition to doing great work for our clients, we’ve spent time this year giving back to organizations we care about, many of which are in the community where we live and work.

At Howard/Merrell, we offer employees a Volunteer Day as a part of their paid-time-off benefit. I asked my co-workers how they spent that day in 2013, and this is what they did:

• Volunteered at an elementary school book fair
• Made meals for women in homeless shelter
• Regularly go to Safe Haven – cleaning and playing with the kitties and some time helping them with accounting work.
• Spent time with the Solair clients packing and delivering food to senior citizens in Garner
• Served as an officer on the Y-Guides board
• Volunteered several Sundays this fall at Camp Kanata, raising money for the We Build People Program
• Sat on the Frankie Lemmon Foundation Board, helping to raise monies through multiple events
• Volunteered at Habitat for Humanity
• Worked on the marketing committee that supported a number of NC Children’s Hospital events
• Spoke at the Duke Hospital Radiothon
• Delivered food to the less fortunate
• Volunteered regularly at my child’s elementary school – reading to students, working with those who needed help and just helping the teacher out

Though my intention was to write about how co-workers spent their Volunteer Day, I am proud to learn about how much giving back they do every day.

Now That’s Horse Power

Starting this week, life gets a whole lot busier for horse-crazy volunteers across the Triangle, myself included. Feb. 7 kicks off the spring semester at Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program, which has been providing riding lessons to individuals with disabilities for over 20 years. With 10 lessons a week, Helping Horse averages over 1,000 hours of riding instruction a year.

Why therapeutic riding? Therapeutic horseback riding (also known as hippotherapy) has proven physical, mental and psychological benefits for individuals with disabilities. It is a good outlet for exercise, providing a unique opportunity to build core strength. Additionally, learning to  control a powerful horse is an enormous confidence builder. More »

Have Some Spare Time?

I was watching an old episode of The Secret Millionaire over the weekend. In each episode of this reality series, a multi-millionaire lives in a poverty-stricken community for a week pretending to be working on a documentary. At the end of the week, the true identity of the millionaire is revealed as he/she gives a total of $100,000 of his/her own monies to one or more of the worthy individuals the millionaire has met during that week.

There are hundreds of non-profit organizations all over the Raleigh area. You don’t need to go “undercover” to find them. And though most of us don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to give to worthy causes, we can give our time.

There are hundreds of organizations out there that could benefit from the time and effort of volunteers. For me, I choose to use my professional knowledge and experience to help organizations with their marketing and communications needs. Though I enjoy helping my clients achieve their goals and objectives, I find it truly rewarding to help some local non-profits with promoting their admirable efforts.

If you are not volunteering already, give it a try. I’d highly recommend it.

A very special haircut

During my time away from the agency, I volunteer with the Durham County, Special Olympics.  Before this past season began, I made a deal with my soccer team.  If they could go the entire season without arguing (too much) AND win a gold medal at the North Carolina Special Olympic State Games – they could shave my head.

You see, last year my team was set-up to win the gold, but their in-fighting cost them dearly. My strategy was to use this incentive when they began to argue. A quick reference to my long flowing locks would usually hush them up.

The state games were held November 7th & 8th. They did very well. Let’s just say, I now know the exact shape of my head. Every nook and every cranny!

Bravo to the Durham County Bulldogs. Champions of Division 3.  They are a VERY Special Group of athletes. And their barber skills aren’t too shabby either.

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