December 4, 2020

Working and Volunteering for Meaningful Purposes

What combines our RELEXians is sharing the same passion for improving society through everything we do. It means working to improve our software to cut even more food waste and carbon footprint but equally importantly doing good by providing help to those who need it the most through volunteering. Besides their daily work, many of our employees devote a share of their free time to volunteering for meaningful purposes.

Three lovely RELEXians share their volunteering experiences and want to inspire others to find their passion and potential ways of doing good. Read the stories below to find out how they ended up volunteering and why they recommend everyone to consider volunteer work.

Veronica Eklund

Head of Group Financial Control
Helsinki, Finland

What kind of volunteer work you do?
I work for a rescue dog association called Rescue Association Hobo Dogs. Their mission is to decrease the stray dog and cat population in Romania and overall increase the living conditions for the animals. It is done through spaying/neutering campaigns, educating locally, and finding new homes for the dogs in Finland. My primary responsibility is bookkeeping and other admin work. I also take part when the adopted dogs arrive in Finland and are united with their new families.

How did you end up volunteering?
Through adopting my own rescue dog, I got passionate about helping these animals. The whole adoption process and everything I saw in how the association worked convinced me that I really wanted to work with these people and this cause.

What motivates you the most in the volunteer work?
I genuinely believe the work has generated concrete results, and even if this is a long process, we have made an impact. I believe I can play a small part in making the world a better place.

What have you learned through volunteering?
You can do good and work with a cause you believe in without getting paid. The work is truly rewarding in so many ways and gives a different meaning to life.

What would you like to say to others considering volunteering?
Volunteering is a great way to help concretely in something close to your heart. It doesn’t have to take too much of your free time, and there are so many different ways of contributing.

Nicolette Hennemann

Talent Acquisition Manager
Atlanta, US

What kind of volunteer work you do?
I have always been avid in giving back to my community through charity and volunteer work, but my time with The Make-A-Wish Foundation is something I am truly passionate about. The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded 40 years ago to help fulfill the wishes of children with a critical illness, and it operates through its 59 chapters located throughout the US. I have been a member of The Make-A-Wish Georgia chapter for a little over a year as a Wish Granter, meeting with wish kids and their families to help the children determine what they would like their special wish to be through a series of fun Q&A sessions.

How did you end up volunteering?
I guess you could say I did a little soul-searching. But in all honesty, I wanted to connect to something greater than myself and my own achievements. I always heard people say you can have it all and still not be happy. It sounded crazy to me because at that point in my life, I was fortunate to have amazing opportunities, friends, a killer support system, you name it. Guess who still lacked fulfillment in their life? Yes, me. Truth be told, there was no defining moment for deciding to volunteer. I just knew it was a cause important to me, impactful to many, and I wanted to be a part of that.

What motivates you the most in the volunteer work?
Volunteering for The Make-A-Wish Georgia chapter has been an incredibly humbling experience. What motivates me the most is knowing the impact it has on these families. The volunteering is much more than a quick Q&A session. These families welcome you into their lives to bring joy or a sense of relief in a time of uncertainty. This journey has enriched my life as well and that motivates me to continue the work.

What would you like to say to others considering volunteering?
DO IT! I would recommend researching causes that are important to you, your goals, and considering how your skills could be of benefit. 2020 has been a challenging time for many, so if you consider volunteering and are not sure where to start, consider your local community – even virtually!

Carmen Langhammer

Supply Chain Analyst Intern
Wiesbaden, Germany

What kind of volunteer work you do?
Since November 2018, I have been a volunteer in the charitable association “Studenteninitiative für Kinder Ortsgruppe Darmstadt e.V.”. The association aims to improve educational opportunities for socially disadvantaged children in Darmstadt through free tutoring. For me, it means spending one hour per week tutoring mathematics to a female student.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, I joined the “Corona School e.V.” in May this year. The mission of the Corona School is to support pupils who have limited access to educational opportunities and provide them with special support during school closures and beyond. Here too, I support a female pupil one hour per week in a digital 1:1 learning support in mathematics.

How did you end up volunteering?
When I was at school, my maths teacher asked me if I could help a pupil from a lower grade with her homework. I enjoyed helping her and seeing that with my help, she could achieve success. During my studies, I realized that I would also like to support pupils beyond my school years. At first, I became an educational mentor at a local school and then switched to the Studenteninitiative and the Corona School as my university lectures blocked this mentoring time slot.

What motivates you the most in the volunteer work?
To see that my engagement can lead to students’ success and to know that I can give them the support they need, which cannot be provided by their circumstances.

What have you learned through volunteering?
A lot! Especially how different people think, understand, and learn. And also some words of French, which I surely have already forgotten.

What would you like to say to others considering volunteering?
Just get started. It’s fun, and it helps others.

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