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

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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.

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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?

 

 

 

 

Getting Inspired by Children’s Cancer Association

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Micah, a Children’s Cancer Association musician, wowed the crowd.

If you’re looking for an organization that can tug on your heart-strings, look no further than Children’s Cancer Association. Yesterday, we had the privilege of supporting their annual Get Inspired Luncheon, and it left attendees marveling at the innovative work CCA is doing, and how brave children (and their families) facing cancer can be.

CCA is founded in the idea that joy and hope can serve as a powerful medicine for kids battling cancer. With that in mind, they pair children with mentors called “Chemo Pals,” they supply them with music, and they even offer a coastal cabin (specifically designed to accommodate a child with cancer) so families can get a much-needed escape. Everything CCA does is designed to inspire hope, and give these kids the will power they need to fight.

The luncheon was incredible, and it was highlighted by an extremely brave kid, Micah, who played a song for the 500 people in attendance. Micah has been fighting his illness most of his life, but thanks to his hard work and support from CCA’s MusicRx program, he’s become an accomplished guitarist. It left us all in awe.

Right now, CCA is offering a way to “give without giving” to support their cause. All you have to do is download their CCA Shopping Heart by clicking here: CCA Shopping Heart. Once you have it, lots of your online purchases through vendors like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Netflix, Expedia, and lots more, will automatically donate a portion of your purchase to CCA. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s secure, and it provides sustainable income for CCA. Everyone wins.

It’s an incredible organization, and we’re so thrilled to be supporters. To learn more, visit their website: http://www.joyrx.org/

How a Nonprofit Gets Kids Moving, Learning, and Leading

It’s always great when you can support a nonprofit organization that you firmly believe in. Usually when you pledge support, you know your money is going to a great cause, but you don’t always get to hear the amazing stories that come from your gift. Luckily, our friends at Playworks were willing to share a truly inspiring tale about the work they’re doing in Portland, OR.

Playworks is a nonprofit that encourages learning by providing physical activity, games, and play to children in public schools. To pull it all off, they have program coordinators that serve as game coaches and role models for elementary school students. These coordinators play thousands of games with students, and over time they’ve transformed several schools that were once full of behavior issues and bullying into places where active learning thrives. To ensure that the positive environment is sustainable, Playworks also runs a leadership development program for 4th and 5th graders called the “Junior Coach” program. These junior coaches serve as leaders amongst their peers, and help to lead games, encourage other students, and serve as a lasting ambassador when the program coordinators aren’t present. By getting the children involved, it builds stronger peer communities, and it leaves a lasting result of the work Playworks does in the school.

To give a first-hand tale, one of their program coordinators, Coach Ruby, told a story about one of her Junior Coaches, Chloe:

“Chloe was a reserved student, but behind her shy exterior was something incredible. She was an outstanding leader, with infectious positivity. I remember during a kickball game Chloe noticed a peer having a terrible time. Like a pro, Chloe consoled him, told him how great he was doing and turned his attitude around. Chloe’s greatest asset as a Junior Coach is her selflessness for others. She is a role model and a catalyst for positive change.

Junior Coach Chloe graduated to middle school this year but we know she has learned valuable skills and will continue to inspire those around her. She will continue to be an outstanding leader for her community and serve as an Ambassador of Play.”

We’re couldn’t be happier to support folks like Ruby, Chloe, and the great people at Playworks. We love your vision, and can’t wait to see what you have in store for the future. Thank you for the work you’ve done in our community!

To learn more about Playworks, check out their website.

Related Post: Bowling for Kids Sake: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho