Last year, Humana employees logged more than 375,000 volunteer hours. They were supported by the company’s volunteer time off policy, which gives employees paid time away from work to volunteer for activities that positively impact the health and well-being of their communities. Humana employees were rewarded with a higher sense of purpose*, and some were also acknowledged by the organizations they serve.
A group of Humana associates based in Kentucky recently received the “Volunteer of the Year” award from Home of the Innocents (also recognized as Home). The Louisville-based organization provides support and services to over 6,000 at-risk, vulnerable children and families each year.
Led by Ron Woodlee, Technology Services Leader in the IT organization, the group is still growing and includes associates from across Humana, as well as support from local companies such as Baptist Health.
“We connected with Home of the Innocents in 2016 and have been volunteering there ever since. We do all sorts of events and outings, such as Thanksgiving dinners, back-to school cookouts, cards for senior centers, heart shaped pizzas on Valentine’s Day,” said Ron. “Although these kids have had tough lives, they can and will do great things in life if they have support and can see the possibilities. They need people to believe in them, to invest in them, to help them get excited about life.”
Knowing that many Home teenagers never attend dances like most high school students, volunteers planned a formal fashion show (complete with hairstylists) and sit-down dinner. And one year for Halloween, the group bought costumes for the children. Not just any costumes; children received the specific costumes they wanted in their specific sizes.
To encourage these at-risk children to pursue college degrees and follow their passions, mentoring and real-life training is also a focus. When one child showed interest in mechanics, the group connected him with a local mechanic to learn more about the field.
“Everyone in our group is devoted in giving back, serving others. Within minutes of sending an email about an opportunity at Home, everything is covered,” continued Ron. “We get so much joy from doing this work, and even bring our families with us to events.”
In Arizona, Zoilabella “Zoila” Calo has been actively engaged with St. Vincent de Paul. She has coordinated donation drives and setup volunteer time off opportunities for local associates. As a result, Zoila was awarded the Champion Volunteer Award at the annual volunteer appreciation luncheon in April. The award is presented to those who demonstrate exemplary leadership, service excellence, teamwork and community spirit.
“I was honored to receive this award,” said Zoila. “I don’t do it for the recognition. I do it for the mission – Feed. Clothe. House. Heal.”
*As measured by Humana’s 2017 Associate Experience Survey