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Pope County Volunteerism

Published on: Mar 4, 2016

Transcripts - Pope County Volunteerism

  • 1. 12A Monday, December 8, 2014 PrairieWind StorageStorage Variety of sizes to fit your storage needs! 14’x40’ | 14’x30’ | 10’x24’ 9’x20’ | 8’x10’ Call Dan for Pricing 320.304.3129320.304.312917671 210th Ave. | Glenwood, MN VVVV yyyyyyyyyyy Affordable Prices!Affordable Prices! Brand NewBrand New Storage FacilityStorage Facility Pope County man embodies the spirit of giving By Deb Mercier News Editor om Meador gave up the hustle and bustle of the east coast for the quiet, outdoors lifestyle of the Midwest. A retired sales executive for Pfizer, Meador landed in the Minnewaska area after searching for the perfect place to hang his hat, fish and hunt. And along with a love of the outdoors, he brought with him a passion for giving back to the community in which he lives. Though work took him out east, Meador’s roots go back to the Midwest; he grew up in Ames, Iowa with sev- en brothers and sisters. When retirement became a possibility, Meador set his sights back on the Midwest. He said he started his search in Iowa and just kept working his way north. “Through my corporate life, I had very good vibrations from Minneso- ta,” said Meador. “‘Minnesota Nice’ to me is real.” The Minnewaska area seemed to fit everything he was looking for in a community: quality fishing, affordability and friendly people. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the area happens to harbor one of the top 25 pheasant hunting spots in the nation, ei- ther, said Meador. He bought what he calls a “chalet with- out the mountain” on Grove Lake and has been living in Starbuck while renovating his new home. Giving to the max Throughout his working career, Meador was active in supporting his daughters’schools as well as contributing to other nonprofits through employer giving programs. Over a 15-year period, Meador estimates that he gave between $5,000-$6,000. Using the resources available through his employer, Meador said, “I was able to parlay that into an additional $15,000—a three to one ratio.” And just because he’s left the workforce and his daughters have moved on to careers of their own doesn’t mean an end to Meador’s support of education. To that end, he has already set up two local scholarships of $500 each for Minnewaska Area High School and Brooten-Bel- grade-Elrosa students. He’s also provided refurbished lap- tops to MAHS. Because of the opportunities he had to maximize his own donations through Pfizer, Meador is passionate about promoting employer giving programs. What is an employer giving program? Many employers encourage employees to donate to nonprofits—to the communities in which they work and live—through incentives or campaigns. For example, many area employers run an annual “Live United” campaign, offering employees a chance to donate to United Way through the workplace. Accord- ing to Corliss Stark of United Way of Pope and Douglas Counties, the Minnewaska School District, Healthland, Glacial Ridge Hospital, WASP and Glenwood State Bank all have sponsored United Way giving programs for their employees over the years. Stark said one advantage of giving through an em- ployer is the ability to set up a payroll deduction. “A small amount can be given each pay period—usually, you don’t notice the gift being taken out,” she said. “Often times companies will do a match dollar for dollar or a certain percentage, so their gift actually goes farther,” Stark add- ed. Employees of Glacial Ridge Health System are able to cash out and donate from their paid time off (PTO) to United Way as well as taking advantage of a direct payroll deduction, said Diane Meyer, GRHS marketing and com- munications manager. It’s a strategy that has “greatly in- creased the number of employees donating, and their total donation,” said Meyer. Last year alone, GRHS employees surpassed their United Way donation goal of $7,000 by more than $1,500. When giving to United Way individually or through employers, Stark said, “People can designate all their do- nation to go to a specific agency.” She also reminded do- nors that 99 cents out of every dollar given in Pope County stays in Pope County. More options for giving through employers Besides participating in United Way campaigns, oth- er employer-based giving programs promote employee involvement in the wellbeing of their communities. For example, Healthland, a local employer providing software solutions to the health care industry, has clearly defined community donation guidelines on its website. Employees and even Healthland clients are able to easily request mon- etary or in-kind donations through Healthland for nonprof- it organizations. Just up the road in Alexandria, 3M offers a volunteer match, providing financial support to the nonprofits where its employees and retirees volunteer their time. Giving programs are good for businesses, too, said Meador. “It’s a way [for employees] to feel good about their place of employment.” The important thing, said Meador, is to check out what is offered through your employer—and for area nonprof- its to be aware of what’s available through employers as well. Meador said he’s always willing to present to boards, parent-teacher associations, nonprofits and parents who volunteer about tapping into corporate resources. Those interested in a presentation should contact Meador at thomasmeador200@gmail.com. Photo by Lane Studio Tom Meador and his dog, Casper, are avid pheasant hunters. When Meador moved to the Minnewaska area, he joined the board of the Glacial Ridge chapter of Pheasants Forever as a way to contribute his time to a local nonprofit. ...and he says employers can be key Minnewaska Area High School students and staff got a $25,000 surprise last Friday. While they were gathered for a winter activities pep fest, it was announced that MAHS was one of 100 schools to receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm as part of the company’s “Celebrate My Drive” campaign. The campaign is designed as a contest--schools sign up to participate, and students, staff and community members are encouraged to go online and make a safe driving pledge each day of the campaign. Minnewaska was one of 3,283 participating schools. See the full story on page 1A. Above, the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group spearheaded the Celebrate My Drive campaign at MAHS. They are pictured with State Farm representatives and MAHS students at the winter pep fest. Left to right are Chris Buckingham, local State Farm representative; SADD students Grant Hitchcock, Jordyn Roggenkamp, and Greta Serrin; SADD advisor Denise Dougherty; SADD students Austin Dougherty, Drew Opdahl and Ryan Majerus; (behind Ryan) Tim Boyd, State Farm sales leader; Amy Roers, local State Farm representative; and the State Farm mascot, the Good Neighbear. At left, MAHS science teacher Mike Troen made good on his bet. If Minnewaska was a winner, he vowed to let students shave his head and craft a Laker mohawk. ‘Waska wins $25,000! Photos by Deb Mercier T

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