U-Haul International Inc. strives to be more than just the leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage, making its communities better through volunteer work and charitable contributions.
U-Haul Team Members take pride in giving back and focus on creating programs and assisting organizations that provide basic human needs: food, clothes, shelter and care for those in need.
Over the years, Phoenix-based U-Haul has aligned itself with Arizona organizations such as St. Mary’s Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent de Paul, Maggie’s Place, Crisis Nursery, Andre House and First Things First, a foundation formed by ex-NFL quarterback Kurt Warner.
To continue its community investment, U-Haul encourages its Team Members to aid the less fortunate by taking part in U-Haul Company’s monthly volunteer days. These events not only help others, but also give Team Members a sense of camaraderie and unification as they work toward a common cause.
Team Members who volunteer have different takes on what helping others means in their lives. The following personal accounts shed light on some of the more generous people at U-Haul and answer “Why I Volunteer.”
Kate Bickmore, Project Coordinator
So many in this world have so little and I feel blessed to have all that I do. I volunteer because I can and I enjoy it. I have time to volunteer, whereas many people are struggling just to keep their heads above water or care for family and have no time.
I enjoy volunteering, especially with my U-Haul Team Members, because I feel it creates camaraderie and a satisfaction that we are giving back to the community. Hopefully, we are making someone else’s life better or just a little less harsh, even for just one day. It does give me a deeper appreciation for all the blessings I have.
My favorite U-Haul events are at St. Mary’s Food Bank, especially at the end when we realize how many tons (literally) of food we have packed and how many families it will help. My favorite time was an event outside of U-Haul where my family and I went to the Salvation Army and served hundreds of folks on Christmas Day.
Brenda Fillmore, Legal Staff Assistant
Because there are so many less fortunate people that need all the help they can get, and if by volunteering I can give them satisfaction and to feel better than it’s all worth it, especially the children.
The satisfaction that I have done something to help these people that need so much, whether it’s pack up food; help fix food; serve food; clean up and wash dishes; sort clothes; watch children and help them have fun at their special events; help paint or repair damages homeowners need done on their current home; and watch homeowners for the first time receive their new homes fully furnished they have worked so hard for. The impact on me is that I am so thankful for what I have.
(My favorite event is) taking the children to the Science Center and watching them have a good time and try all the special projects available for them to participate in and complete. They had a great time, and so did I. Needless to say, they wore me out a little. (Another favorite event is) packing for St. Mary’s food bank, knowing that the hungry will have something to eat on a regular basis.
It does not take a lot of time out of personal projects or commitments to use a couple of hours of personal time to help out the community. To volunteer helps me know there are people out there that do care – a lot of people!”
Greg Foster, Manager of Credit Card Processing
I want to be able to help in some way. This can be either direct or indirect help. Direct help would be working directly with less fortunate people. Indirect help would be like working with the food banks to box food or sort food.
I volunteer because it makes me feel good. I enjoy lending a hand that will hopefully make someone’s day. It really makes me appreciate what I have and the family I have around me for support.
My favorite volunteer days are the times we get to directly serve people who have come across some bad times. Serving a meal at St. Vincent de Paul is so rewarding. Even though the people we are serving have hit some hard times, they still smile and thank us for our service. Some people just want to chat for a little bit. After a day like that you just go home and are thankful that you took the time to volunteer. You just feel good.
For me, the most impactful (days) are also days that you interact directly with people who have hit hard times. After having helped four or five times at St. Vincent de Paul, I noticed that I was seeing more and more women and children come in for a meal. This really hit me because I am a father and a grandfather and I could not help but think about my children and grandchildren.
I have talked about volunteering to a number of people. I have told them that volunteering just makes you feel good. It also helps you appreciate what you have. I know volunteering has helped me put things into perspective.
Read more responses from team members here!
Where have you volunteered? Why do you volunteer? Tell us in the comments!