U-Haul Volunteer of the Year: Rod McDowell

To garner U-Haul Volunteer of the Year honors, one must have a dedicated, selfless and kindhearted approach with a passion for serving others and giving back to his or her community.

Rod McDowell certainly fits that criteria. McDowell was honored in July for his volunteer work during the 2015 calendar year. He has served as a leader among U-Haul volunteers by making a positive impact on people throughout the Valley.

“I felt humbled,” McDowell said after being acknowledged. “It was an honor to receive this award, and if there is anything I can do or say that would encourage others to volunteer, I would. I graciously accept this award.”

U-Haul focuses on supporting charitable organizations that serve basic human needs: food, clothing and shelter. The Volunteer of the Year is typically awarded to the individual who attends the most volunteer opportunities with U-Haul charitable partners during a given year.

“I am very proud to work for a company that provides so many opportunities to volunteer,” McDowell said. “U-Haul has made it extremely easy for anyone to participate and supports some great charities.”

2_16_charity_fair_towers-809-799x1024Meet Rod McDowell

“Rod is always one of the first Team Members to sign up for our U-Haul volunteer opportunities and often the last one to leave each event, making sure everything is covered,” U-Haul community relations specialist Zofia Sells said.

“He’s the guy who jumps right in, no matter the job at hand. And he does it all with a big smile on his face. Rod is the definition of a wonderful volunteer, U-Haul Team Member and friend.”

McDowell will celebrate 35 years with U-Haul in January. He holds the position of lead programmer for WebSelfStorage at U-Haul headquarters in Phoenix.

When McDowell isn’t dedicating himself to U-Haul and volunteering, he takes time for himself. In his leisure, he enjoys taking advantage of the beautiful Arizona weather on the golf course. He is a member of a group that allows him to play at different golf courses throughout the Valley.

Volunteering has proven to be a significant part of McDowell’s life; he has volunteered at Calvary Community Church for more than 10 years. He learned about the volunteer opportunities that U-Haul offers its Team Members through a coworker, and he couldn’t pass up the fellowship and compassion of people coming together to help others.

“One of the most rewarding charities I participate in is St. Mary’s Food Bank,” McDowell said. “This is a charity that I not only donate my time, but also donate with monetary gifts. Helping to feed families, children and the elderly, I believe, is a worthy cause.”

McDowell said that the true essence of who is and why he volunteers can be explained by a Bible verse: Hebrews 13:16. The verse states, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

U-Haul Charities and Activities

U-Haul volunteer opportunities feature a number of Phoenix-based charitable partners including: Andre House; Child Crisis; Habitat for Humanity; St. Mary’s Food Bank; St. Vincent de Paul; and Maggie’s Place. At least once per month, often on a Saturday morning, U-Haul volunteers come together to help out these local charities.

The typical volunteer activities at each partner are:

  • Andre House: Sorting clothing donations for the homeless
  • Child Crisis: Attending field trips for children at the centers
  • Habitat for Humanity: Framing, landscaping, putting up dry wall, etc.
  • St. Mary’s: Food packing and sorting to benefit hungry families
  • St. Vincent de Paul: Preparing and serving lunch to the hungry
  • Maggie’s Place: Cleaning the community house for pregnant and parenting women in need

To learn more about the charities that U-Haul supports, visit us at https://www.uhaul.com/About/Philanthropy/.

Thank you, Rod McDowell, for your continual work and support of U-Haul charitable partners.

Did you know Laura Marin was the 2014 U-Haul Volunteer of the Year. Click here to read her story.

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