Reflecting the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor: Regence supports National Volunteer Week

April 21, 2021
Regence employee volunteers COVID-19 vaccine clinic
By Regence

Main image: Regence employees recently helped out at COVID-19 vaccine clinic

It’s hard to overstate how difficult 2020 was for so many, including lives lost, financial instability and magnified health disparities. This is especially true for our most vulnerable neighbors.

To help those most affected, Regence responded in the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor by committing more than $18.7 million and nearly 8,000 volunteer hours last year to strengthen and support the communities we serve.

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 18-24), we thank all those committed to giving back to their communities in this incredible time of need. Read on to learn how Regence employee volunteers support their local communities.

Keeping kids reading and learning in Oregon

Serving on the Children’s Book Bank‘s ambassador board, Portland-based employee Hanna Herrin (pictured above) is passionate about supporting early childhood literacy.

“The Children's Book Bank donates thousands of engaging, culturally diverse books to children in the Portland Metro area each year. Their work sparks curiosity, improves comprehension and sets kids up for a more successful future. I'm particularly passionate about CBB's A Story Like Mine program, which is focused on improving the way diversity is reflected through book selections, ensuring all children can see themselves and that their worlds are reflected and celebrated in the books they read.”

Wasatch Community Gardens in Utah
A group of Regence employees volunteer at Wasatch Community Gardens in Utah; photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

Increasing access to nutritious fruits and vegetables in Utah

Utah-based employee Maeve McClellan sits on the board of the Liberty Wells Community Council and coordinates a community garden in Ron Heaps Memorial Park.

“Over the past year, having access to outdoor space has been increasingly important. We definitely saw an increase in demand for plots in our community garden. As more people gardened, we had more neighborhood residents walking through the park and enjoying the space. Since we've had more active gardeners, people can see the space is being used and we've had less drug paraphernalia, graffiti and littering. We received a lot of positive feedback from people who said the garden is now a destination on their neighborhood walks and we see more neighborhood kids who feel safe playing there.”

 

Marys Place Regence employee volunteers
Jae Suzuki, pictured second from the right, volunteers with organizations like Mary’s Place; photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic

Supporting youth in Washington

Jae Suzuki, an employee in Washington state, is a long-time volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County. He also serves on the board of Wellspring Family Services and volunteers  with local nonprofits Mary’s Place and Friends of Youth.

“Helping others is how I was raised, as both of my parents were teachers and outwardly gave to others throughout their careers. It's a passion of mine. Giving back is extremely gratifying, especially helping wherever I can during the pandemic where families and children are struggling more than ever.”

Combatting the stigma behind mental health in Idaho

Idaho-based Fayth Dickenson serves as the chair of Suicide Prevention of the Inland Northwest (SPIN), an organization that aims to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and build awareness through educational events.

“Every time I have the privilege of hearing someone's story, whether that's a story of loss or a story of success in finding help, I am reminded of the impact that suicide has on our community. Getting to be a person that helps share a message of hope is an honor.”

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