Tapping into our Caring — and Creative — Side

TEAM employees give back during our latest Volunteer Time Off event.

We know our employees value community service. They showed us that time and again at our four 2019 group Volunteer Time Off (VTO) events. And 2020 is shaping up to be the same. This month, we kicked off our VTO events for the year when a record 27 employees helped create animal enrichment activities for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

For several of those volunteers, this was their first time participating in a VTO event. Dave Koley, Senior Accountant, is in his first year at TEAM and was excited to join in his first VTO event.

“This event allowed us to contribute to the zoo’s beauty and added to the animals’ experiences, when typically, we’re on the other side of the glass,” said Dave. “Seeing the colorful and creative contributions of some of TEAM’s volunteers and their artistic talents, and connecting with both familiar and newer coworkers was a great way to spend the day.”

For this VTO event, volunteers were tasked with several different projects to benefit animals from across the zoo including elephants, birds, orangutans and monkeys.

“I loved the creative nature of the tasks we worked on and knowing that other zoo-goers, as well as the animals, would get to enjoy the items we were making,” said Christine Burright, TEAM’s Graphic Designer and another first time VTO participant. “What’s more fun than painting a present for an elephant or braiding paper towel ropes for birds?”

For some of our other employees who’ve participated in the VTO program before, this was an entirely new way for them to volunteer.

“I really enjoyed the chance to be creative while being able to help out the animals at the same time,” said April Walter, Account Manager at TEAM. “Everyone has busy schedules, so I love that TEAM provides us the opportunity to make giving back a priority.”

The volunteers not only got to help create items that would benefit the animals at the zoo, they also learned how they were helping the full-time volunteers at the zoo, too.

“It was interesting to hear about all the activities and things that the zoo does for the benefit of the animals,” explained April. “And, since there are other more permanent volunteers heading up these efforts, it was nice to hear that our volunteering saved them time in their day to focus on other things they have to do at the zoo.”

Plans are already underway for our next VTO event, but we know a day spent at the zoo helping animals is going to be hard to beat.