By Stephanie Zuccato
As an intern for COUNTRY Financial, I have the experience to not only work for an insurance company that values its customers above all else, but also the opportunity to help serve the surrounding community.
On June 8, 2017, COUNTRY Financial held its annual IMPACT Day. On IMPACT Day, both interns and employees have the option to take paid time off to volunteer in the community for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Home Sweet Home Ministries, and other non-profit groups.
I went with a group of interns to volunteer for Midwest Food Bank. Midwest Food Bank provides food to those in need by optimizing the distribution process. They’ve recently relocated to North Normal, Illinois to a bigger warehouse that features a refrigerator large enough to fit 12 semi-trucks. Midwest Food Bank also has locations in Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and an international location in East Africa. These warehouses are stocked with food that both local and chain grocery stores donate. However, what makes Midwest Food Bank successful is how they distribute food to smaller organizations who can get it to the people who need it most.
As a new volunteer, I was wondering how I’d be able to make a difference in just one day. But, my fellow volunteers and I were put right to work lifting boxes of green beans, pasta sauce, fruit cups, and a variety of other foods onto carts, then eventually into vehicles. Realizing the food in your hand will be going to someone who wouldn’t have access to it otherwise, really makes you see the value of organizations like Midwest Food Bank.
I really enjoyed interacting with representatives from the smaller organizations. Their faces beamed with excitement as they selected the food they would take back to the people in their community. Not even the daunting task of fitting all the boxes into their cars could wipe away their smiles, and we made sure they could take every last box back with them.
Some of the other Midwest Food Bank volunteers from the surrounding area included former COUNTRY Financial employees, even one employee who worked in our original Chicago office. In many cases, their ongoing dedication to helping the community is rooted in the commitment COUNTRY Financial has to helping employees give back.
This experience helped me develop an appreciation for Midwest Food Bank and allowed me the opportunity to help those in need.
Was there a time where you were able to make a difference in your community in only one day? You have our permission to #humblebrag below in the comments.