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Sandra Hulteen

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Volunteer & Community Giving Initiatives at Townsend Security

Posted by Sandra Hulteen on Sep 5, 2014 3:15:00 PM

Logistics and the Food Bank

I observe an incredible amount of logistics when I volunteer each month at our local food bank. Food is donated from a multitude of sources including government programs, community food drives and individual contributions. It arrives packed in bulk quantities on pallets from the federal government and in small grocery bags of assorted items from local citizens. All of the items need to be resorted and repackaged so that families will have access to a variety of foods in quantities that meet their needs.

My first few volunteer sessions I floated around to various departments like produce and dairy, but lately find myself consistently in the dry goods sorting room where pallets of assorted items are delivered to the sorting room to take the next steps in the process from arrival to distribution: 

  1. Teams of volunteers sort a box at a time into carts by type so that they can be counted.  
  2. Boxes of donations are resorted into carts by type of item such as canned vegetable, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, large soup, small soup, coffee, tea, baking ~ there are close to forty different sorts. 
  3. Each group of items is then counted and entered into the tracking system that records the amount by donor.  
  4. The counted items are sorted into their storage bins and then stocked to the shelves for clients to choose from.

The same process and sort function goes on in other departments ~ dairy products into yogurt, eggs, milk; pizza & baked goods into smaller packages; produce into bins by type. Any particular item gets handled several times from its initial donation until it ultimately is delivered to the community.

I think I probably demonstrated my accounting inclinations at an early age ~ I was always sorting items by type, color, whatever I could figure out.  I’ve come to see accounting as a giant sort function, taking large amounts of data and sorting it into its relevant buckets.  I find it a bit funny that volunteering with cans of green beans and packets of oatmeal, I am still doing the same function.  

Sandra at the Food Bank

As always, each time I volunteer, I am humbled by the grace and kindness of the volunteers and clients at the food bank.  I am grateful that Townsend Security encourages and allows me the opportunity to contribute back to our community with its Volunteer Program.

Sandra, Controller at Townsend Security

Topics: Giving, Community, United Way, Townsend Security

Community Giving: Volunteering at the Local Food Bank

Posted by Sandra Hulteen on Nov 29, 2012 9:23:00 AM

thurston county food bankI dropped a tomato and it rolled away under the table.  I picked up a bag of pears and the pears skittered across the floor as the wet bottom gave away.  I juggled the eggplants as they slipped through my hands.  All of these nervous first steps were right in front of the seasoned verterans who were showing me the ropes the morning before the Thurston County Food Bank opened.  With all of this, I thought the Food Bank might not really want me helping in the produce section if I was going to cause so much vegetable trauma.  But the other volunteers were kind and patient; and I persisted through that embarrassing start.  By the end of the day, I ended up sorting several boxes of fall produce – apples, kale, squash, pears and lettuce.  If anything was found too ripe during final inspection, we set it aside to give to local farmers to feed their livestock. Once the food bank opened, I helped staff the dry goods aisle, helping customers select their allotted items.

During my time volunteering, I had the pleasure of working with other kind volunteers, as well as meeting friendly customers.  One customer personally thanked me for my time volunteering, making my day with his cheer and smile.  As I continue to volunteer at the Food Bank, I am finding that the rewards and joy come back in much greater volumes than the small portion of my time that I contribute. 

Townsend Security encourages and supports volunteering for all employees by providing four hours of paid time per month.  This has inspired me to just schedule a day and time to volunteer, even though I always have plenty of competing tasks to do at work and home.  

The Volunteer Policy is part of a broader commitment by the company to support our local community.  Townsend Security also donates financial resources to our local United Way, and matches employee donations to 501(c)3 organizations.  Many of us here at Townsend Security believe that we have resources we can and should share, and that we can make a difference by acting locally.

We invite you to take a look at all of our community sponsorships that we are a part of.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see what we are up to next.

Topics: Giving, Community

Inspired to Volunteer

Posted by Sandra Hulteen on Sep 14, 2012 9:16:00 AM

day of caringI’m busy, as we all are. My intentions are always there, to find some way to contribute back to my community.  I’ve finally been inspired to schedule time to start volunteering in a small, manageable way.  Our company’s new Volunteer Policy pays for 4 hours of volunteer time per month.  I’ve used that as an inspiration to go ahead and schedule time to do just that.  I just completed my volunteer orientation at the Thurston County Food Bank, where I will be volunteering one morning a month to help package food items. 

I am excited to be volunteering for our local United Way’s annual Day of Caring on September 21.  I met today with the agency representative where I will be painting, moving furniture and remodeling as part of our company’s participation.  I have to say I was very touched when she told me that they would not be able to do this project without our help - that their staffing is so bare bones it would take a very long time to even consider doing the work that we will be doing.  It renewed my commitment to contribute something back to the community. 

I’m proud to work for a company that actively supports community participation and makes it easier to do so.  I’m glad that those same policies nudged me along to make volunteering a part of my regular schedule. 

Topics: Community, United Way

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