Do you ever feel like what you seek is seeking you?

It’s always great when your values as an individual match your employer’s values. Julie T. is one of those PacificSource employees. Julie takes it upon herself to actively live our values, every day.

During Idaho Gives, a 24-hour charitable event, Idahoans will give back to the nonprofits that support their communities. In honor of Idaho Gives, we asked Julie to share her story about why giving back to the community is so near and dear to her heart. Here’s her story:

When my family decided to move from Missoula, Montana, to Boise in 2013, I knew I

IMG_0109

PacificSource Health Plans employees strive to make a difference in the community.

wanted to seek a career at PacificSource Health Plans. I had the pleasure of working with many individuals over the past few years, and while it was the people that drew me to the company, it was the company’s mission and values that intrigued me the most. One of my favorite values has brought so much passion to my life:

We actively participate in efforts to improve our communities.”

Last year, I was chosen to lead the PacificSource United Way campaign, a company-wide fundraising activity. Although I knew I had the passion, I was very nervous about being able to execute a successful campaign.

At the United Way launch breakfast, I clearly remember Nora Carpenter, CEO of United Way Treasure Valley, saying the best way to inspire people is to share a personal story. I started thinking, “I have a story—a very personal story—but am I brave enough to share it with our staff of more than 100 people?”

The answer was, “Yes!”

I was reluctantly brave, and although it was a very vulnerable moment in my life, it is one that I will never forget. During my childhood, for more than six years, I was matched with a Big Sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. My mom was a single parent, and we didn’t have much. It changed my life.

I think my story inspired people, because over the next six weeks, employee participation in the campaign increased dramatically.  Many employees wanted to learn more about United Way, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Since then, I’ve had the chance to share my story and the benefits of a one-on-one mentoring relationship at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mixer in December, 2015. I will also speak at their Magical Moments Gala in May, 2016. In addition, I have the opportunity to lead the Charity of Choice Committee for Big Brothers Big Sisters and work closely with them this year to continue paying it forward.

BBBS Mixer 009-001

Nora Carpenter, CEO United Way Treasure Valley, Sarah Leeds, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho, and Julie Triepke at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mixer.

The past few months have been life changing for me, and I look forward to remembering these experiences as the time when I found my passion!

As an adult, I realize the impact complete strangers had on my life, because they donated their time, money, or items to a local nonprofit. It means even more to me that I work for a company that encourages their employees to actively participate in the community, because they also believe it changes lives.

It’s a beautiful thing when your career and your passion come together!

 

Click here if you would like more information on how you can participate in Idaho Gives.

On Thursday, May 5, Idaho gives. Will you?

 

 

 

 

Dan’s Tips on Walking to Work

Have you ever considered a relaxing walk to work? Many years ago, our guest blogger Dan did and has been walking ever since. Here are his reasons why, and a few tips on making the trek.

Heidi-Walks-Springfield1

Heidi taking Dan’s advice

Many of us have friends or co-workers who bike to work regularly, but for those of us who are lucky and live close enough, there is another great option. I’ve been walking to work for nearly 7 years (spanning 2 jobs) and absolutely love it. Like cycling, it saves on gas and provides a great way to add physical activity to your day. But, I also find it much more relaxing than having to deal with traffic on your commute. Waiting at intersections and those sudden Oregon downpours are typically as troublesome as commuting gets for a walker, but in my years of walking I’ve learned a few other things about hoofing it to work:

  • Your co-workers may think you walk out of necessity. I once had a teammate who, after 6 months, was shocked to learn that I actually did own a car.
  • Be aware of the shoes you buy. In the past I made the mistake of buying my work shoes based on the combination of looks, comfort and price. What I didn’t take into account was the tread. It only took a couple times of wearing completely through the sole of a pair of shoes in 3 months to cure me of that. I carefully inspected the undersides of shoes the next time I went shopping and found a pair for just a little bit more that lasted over 4 times as long.
  • Good raingear is a must for a walking commuter of course, but as we move towards spring and summer, the days will sneak up on you where it’s too cold in the morning to not wear a jacket, and entirely too warm at the end of the day to wear one. Plan ahead so you don’t end up with every jacket you own hanging in your cubicle.
  • Random cars may pull over and the driver will offer you a ride. On closer inspection, it will turn out to be one of your co-workers. It’s up to you whether to take them up on the offer or decline and leave them feeling awkward for having pulled over for no reason.
  • If the winter deigns to drop snowstorms on us; you will casually walk to work just like normal (if wearing a few extra layers). Do watch out for ice – falling on your butt isn’t fun (not that I would know, or anything…) and remember that in icy conditions cars that are intending to stop may not always succeed.

If you live within a mile or two of your workplace, I definitely recommend giving walking a try, especially with the nice weather and long daylight hours during the spring and summer. If walking both ways sounds like a bit much, you could walk one direction and find someone to carpool with for the other. Whatever method you choose, happy commuting!

January is National Blood Donor Month, When Donations are Needed Most

DonateBlood-LaneBloodCenter-HopValley-2015Did you know that blood donations are only usable for a short period of time? Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days, so blood centers have a constant need for blood donations. (Platelets need to be used within five days, and plasma can be frozen for up to a year).

With a short time to use blood donations, blood centers need a consistent flow (pardon the bad pun!) of donations to secure a safe supply throughout the year. And year after year, January is the month when blood centers have the least amount of blood on-hand.

The reasons? Leading into the month of January, people are celebrating the holidays, and finding time to donate blood becomes difficult. When the month of January arrives, folks get sick and the weather gets worse, causing people to miss their scheduled appointments and donation events to be canceled. Because of this, January was declared National Blood Donor Month, and local and national blood centers strongly urge people to schedule an appointment or drop on in to a donation event.

Donating blood doesn’t cost anything, takes little time (around an hour), and can make a great difference in someone’s life—including saving one! Also, donors are not left empty handed. After each donation, donors receive:

  • A lollypop, a cookie, and a glass of juice
  • Time to spend with family and friends (don’t go alone, ask a loved one to join)
  • A momentary pinching feeling in your arm (not so much a benefit, unless you think you are dreaming!)
  • The opportunity to prove that you are not a wimp when you see a needle
  • Information about your blood, including fourteen tests, 11 for infectious diseases
  • The fantastic feeling of helping others

So, if you are part of the 38 percent of Americans who are eligible to donate blood, seriously consider this time of year to schedule an appointment, or head to your local blood center and donate! Visit a link to find a center or event near you:

And, to those who have and will give blood, thank you!


Do you like this post? If so, please share with your family and friends!