Audrey Tillman is a Humana Beginnings nurse based in Johnson City, Tennessee. Earlier this year, she won the Humana Volunteer Challenge, a contest sponsored by the Humana Foundation that gave her the chance to support charitable organizations in two Humana communities.
Here’s Audrey’s story in her own words:
One of my favorite aspects of working at Humana is the variety of opportunities Humana provides associates to make a difference in our communities. I’ve had two opportunities recently that have been tremendously meaningful for me and wanted to share them.
Last spring, the Humana Foundation held a drawing as part of the Humana Volunteer Challenge in which the winner would be able to direct a $2,000 Humana Foundation grant to the charitable organization of their choice, and also win a trip to the site of an upcoming KaBOOM! playground build. To my surprise and delight, my name was drawn. I thought about where I wanted to direct the donation.
When I lived in Louisiana, I volunteered at St. Joseph Hospice in Baton Rouge. I sat with patients, worked the front desk and provided support to families. It thrilled me to be able to ask the Humana Foundation to give the $2,000 grant to St. Joseph Hospice to support the work they do.
For the KaBOOM! trip, I selected a build that was scheduled to take place at the Susan B. Anthony Residential Treatment Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Susan B. Anthony is a center for women, and the families of women, who need treatment for drug and alcohol addiction or who have ongoing mental health issues. I wanted to go there in part because of the center’s focus on helping women and children, which felt like an extension of my work with Humana Beginnings.
I have to admit that when I arrived the morning of the build and saw the task at hand, I was thinking, “How in the world are we going to do this in one day?” The site was just an empty field.
But when a group of volunteers gets together, magic happens. We worked with Humana volunteers, residents, family members of residents, volunteers from the community and the KaBOOM! project coordinators. It was incredible. We completed the build in eight hours.
By the end of the day, I was tired, but it was a good kind of tired, the kind that goes along with accomplishing something. It was worth the effort a million times over to see the children who’ll be using the playground. Their eyes were so big and their smiles so wide! They even did a thank-you dance for the volunteers, which was so adorable.
I just want to express my own gratitude to the Humana Foundation for my experience, which is one of the highlights of my life. I also want to show my appreciation to everyone at Humana who helps create and keep the culture of caring and giving in the communities we serve. I am proud to work for a company that would not only allow me to give back, but encourage me and even give me opportunities to do so.
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- KaBOOM! founder Darell Hammond built movement to save play – and create hope
- Giving back: Humana associates create positive change for communities, themselves
- Fellowship gives Humana associates unique assignment: volunteer full-time