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.”
Here is the second round of responses to this question:
Eva Franco, Utility Billing & Analysis Account Representative
“What greater joy is there then to know that you are making a difference in the world? I strive to be the change I want to see in the world, love others and help when I can. I get the joy of knowing that I am making a difference in someone else’s life. It reminds me to stay humble, to continue to appreciate all my blessings.
“Taking the kids around at the gold mines last year was really fun. Seeing the smiles on their faces was awesome. Seeing the family that was soon going to move in a Habitat home that we were helping to build was a great experience.
“The small sacrifice of a few hours of your time can make the world of difference for another here in the valley. Make an impact here at home.”
Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less. – Unknown
Laura Marin, Supervisor of Field Computer Support
“Volunteering is therapeutic for me. Whenever the life and work stresses are getting to be too much, volunteering is not only physically challenging, but it brings some perspective into my world. It makes me realize there are others less fortunate than I am. I’ve been blessed to have my loved ones near me and for have what I have.
“Mom always made us kids help someone else when we were feeling sorry for ourselves and it just carried over into adulthood. Volunteering makes me thankful and very grateful and helps me keep my priorities properly aligned.
“Volunteering is also a way to get to know Team Members on a personal level. I’ve worked with many of these people for almost 30 years now, but volunteering gives me an opportunity to meet the person behind the job title and to meet their family members.
“All our volunteer opportunities offer their unique rewards. St Mary’s Food Bank allows me to include my family members; St. Vincent de Paul dining room and Andre House give me a different perspective. The homeless are no longer faceless bodies we see on the streets. These are our suffering brothers and sisters for if not by the grace of God, I would be alongside them.
“I recommend volunteering to everyone. Its reward can’t be measured. It reminds us we’re all human and need to care for one another. It creates a grateful heart and heals the soul.”
A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens – citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization. – Anonymous
Rod McDowell, Lead Software Developer
“It is something we all should do. I volunteer as much as I can for the U-Haul events and I volunteer every week running cameras at my church. However, I feel sometimes I am not doing enough. Consider the following verse in 1 Peter 4:10: ‘As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.’
“It does make me feel good but I do not require any recognition. I volunteer because I want to. It is the path of giving we should all be following. All volunteer days have an impact on me. I was especially happy to participate this last time with Habitat because it was in Avondale, which is where I live. It makes me feel good seeing people have the opportunity to become new homeowners.
“Also, anytime I get a chance working with Crisis Nursery is an awesome experience being with the kids. I have to say I am a little selfish here as I know I am having as much fun as the kids are. And St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is another volunteer day I really enjoy. Helping provide food to the less fortunate is extremely rewarding.
“I think U-Haul does a great job informing volunteer opportunities. I have to admit I would like to see some more different faces not because I feel obligated to volunteer but so others can experience what I have. Consider the following verse in Hebrews 13:16: ‘Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.’
“I cannot say it any better than that.”
Janice Perkins, Bank Services Business Analyst
“The reason I volunteer is because it makes me feel good to do things for others. My pastor says that tithing is not just money. Giving your time and talents is a good way to tithe also. What better way to give then of your time to those in need.
“Not only do I volunteer through U-Haul, but also at my church. It pleases me that just the little bit that I do means so much to someone less fortunate. I also have my son volunteer with me so that he can be more appreciative of what he has and to let him know it is more blessed to give then to receive.
“I worked on a friend’s house through Habitat for Humanity. Every time I look at the walls I am reminded of the fact that I helped so that she and her family could have affordable housing and a stable roof over their heads.
“I love working at St Mary’s Food Bank. A few years ago, we were notified during work hours that help was needed later that evening. I said yes for my son and I forgot what the theme was but it was all Rock-n-Roll music blasting through the speakers. We had a blast dancing and packing food boxes.
“I participated at Andre House for the first time this year sorting clothes. It really makes you think about how many people are out there on the street who have to be supplied their most basic needs. It really makes me appreciate what I have and if I can’t give financial support, giving of me is most important. I will always try not to be so busy that I can’t find time to help or even visit someone who is in need.”
Read more responses in part 1 here.
Where have you volunteered? Why do you volunteer? Tell us in the comments!