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Mutual of Omaha employees escape the office to give something back

Mutual of Omaha launches National Caring Month
Mutual of Omaha employees escape the office to give something back
Published on October 14, 2010

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Last month, Mutual of Omaha held its National Month of Caring, a nationwide effort that allowed its employees and vendors to take four hours of paid time off during a work day to volunteer in the month of September.

Landscaping and construction projects, as well as organized donations, were among the options employees could choose as a way to help their communities.

We put out 40 opportunities and [the employees] had a chance to sign up for whatever they wanted,” said Bill Davis, community affairs coordinator for Mutual of Omaha.

Here in Omaha, for example, volunteers built a Habitat for Humanity home, sorted donations at Food Bank for the Heartland, and gardened with the Clairmont Heights Neighborhood Association, according to the Mutual of Omaha Foundation’s Facebook page.

Volunteers also helped put together pantry boxes of food and sort clothing donations at the local relief organization Together, Inc., said staff member Jackie McLane.

They put together a lot,” McLane said. “We need all the help we can get.”

McLane estimated volunteers assembled about 50 boxes of food that Together, Inc. would distribute to the underserved in our community.

It’s nice to know there are people in the community that care and can give their time,” said Michelle Moyes Dill, executive director for Together, Inc.

Nearly 1,100 employees volunteered locally, and about another 500 served their communities nationally during September, Davis said.

The idea behind National Month of Caring came after the success of last year’s Mutual of Omaha volunteer effort, 100 Days of Caring. In 2009, Mutual of Omaha celebrated its centennial anniversary by giving employees four hours of paid time off to serve Omaha at one of 10 local community agencies.

Davis said last year’s effort was so successful, the company decided to try something similar on a national level.

Employees from 50 offices nationwide stepped out to serve their communities during National Month of Caring. Davis said Mutual of Omaha’s commitment to volunteer service stems from a belief in the communities in which the company does business. Davis said that while Mutual of Omaha is currently focused on its United Way donation campaign, it hopes to do something similar to the National Month of Caring in 2011.

We’re pretty happy right now,” Davis said. “It was our first-ever national push for volunteerism.”

About Omaha Serves

Omaha Serves offers a comprehensive community service plan to engage all citizens in addressing community needs through a wealth of initiatives designed to make Omaha a better place to live, work, and play. Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Omaha is one of the first 10 cities selected to participate in the Cities of Service program.

To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Kirsten Case-Penrod at 444-5034 or kcase-penrod [at] ci [dot] omaha [dot] ne [dot] us.

ServeOmahaTom is a Communications Assistant at the Omaha Mayor's Office. He plays guitar for The Answer Team and co-edits the online poetry journal Strange Machine.