Hi there! I’m Meg and am an Account Manager at Catalate.
When I was asked to write this post, to explain why I volunteer, I thought writing this would be super easy. However, when I was simply asked “Why do you volunteer?”, I realized that the answer may not have been as easy as I thought. Simply put, I always have volunteered. I can’t remember a time since I was about 14 where I wasn’t involved in some form of community service, volunteer work, etc.
So as I pondered the question, way longer than I’d like to admit, the over-arching theme I settled on was gratitude. Growing up, I was involved in many organizations, after-school programs, etc. They often ranged all over the place and were so different from one another; however, the one common factor is they all were supported by volunteers who were passionate about what they were doing. Those volunteers inspired me, and now are the reason I volunteer. I found ways to give back and causes I’m passionate about.
Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite Catalate core values is: “Drive positive impact in the communities we serve.” Furthermore, it’s not just a value we say we have, but one that is encouraged and demonstrated by our team.
Last week, we participated in a virtual Community Service Day, where everyone was encouraged to find a local cause to help with for the day. We each had the privilege to choose a local cause or charity to serve in our own community. The organization with whom I chose to volunteer my time to was Coats for Kids. It’s a local event in Austin (my hometown), hosted by the Junior League of Austin, where around 2,500 volunteers participate in the acquisition, sorting, and distribution of coats to around 15,000 kids in need in the greater Austin area.
However, for Catalate and for me, community service isn’t something done only one day a year. We truly aim to drive positive impact in the communities we serve. What I’m most proud of is how supportive Catalate is for my continuous volunteer work with ROCK (Ride On Center for Kids) in Georgetown, TX. ROCK is a nonprofit organization that provides equine-assisted services to children, adults, and veterans with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. It’s truly an amazing organization. 94.4% of children and adults within the program reported an improvement in independence and 88.6% of participants reported improvement in Life Skills. For the veteran participants, they report a 94.8% decrease in anxiety, 96.6% improvement in mood, and 82.5% improved in stress management. I feel so honored to be helping such an amazing organization and am so grateful to Catalate for allowing me to take time each week to volunteer onsite with participants.
I wish I could say I do all this volunteer work selflessly, but it honestly isn’t entirely altruistic. It expands my perspective and eases my own anxiety. The more I volunteer, the more my confidence grows. It continues to push me outside my comfort zone. Volunteering inspires me to do more, be more, give more.
My advice to anyone is find something your passionate and get involved. It can be through a local non-profit or through a large volunteer organization like the Junior League or the Rotary Club. Reach out and ask how you can help. I can promise you, if you find something you’re passionate about, you’ll end up getting way more out of it than you can ever give.