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EAA’s Staff: Living the Volunteer Spirit, Too!
Michelle Farr EAA 1103304, HR Business Partner
May 2015 - Since its beginning, EAA has relied on volunteers for its success. That spirit, however, isn’t limited to EAA members during AirVenture and throughout the year. EAA’s employees believe in it, you’re your Oshkosh-based staff members can often be found helping throughout the year in EAA projects. They’re visible in the community, too, showing EAA’s dedication and can-do attitude in our hometown area.
Here are just a few of those stories:
“I volunteer with Old Glory Honor Flight. Their mission is to transport local WWII and Korean War veterans (and during AirVenture, Vietnam veterans!) to Washington DC to see the memorials built in their honor. I am honored to meet these brave, humble men and women and be able to assist in recognizing them for their service and sacrifice, and see it as just a very small way to thank them for what they did for us.” – Merisue Krenke; Marketing Associate
“I volunteer because I want to give back with my skills and time. I volunteer for organizations such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club because they make a difference in the community I live in and specifically for youth. I want all youth to have the same opportunities to pursue their interests, be healthy and most importantly be happy.” – Tony Wihlm; Controller
“I’ve volunteered for various organizations most of my life. It just seems to stem from an innate sense that I need to give back. When I deliver Meals on Wheels to someone who is homebound, it’s such a small bit of my day but it means so much to them. I have so many blessings in my life that if I can help someone with something I feel that I need to do that. When I volunteer in my church, I’m following in the footsteps of my parents and grandparents who just stepped in and did what needed to be done. That was a gift they passed on to me.” – Jane Smith; Executive Assistant
“I volunteer because I have a passion for helping those who cannot help themselves, dogs who have found themselves homeless through no fault of their own. In the last 10 years I have owned 4 dogs, and each of them have deeply changed me, grown my compassion and filled my life in ways I never imagined. Two of them came from some pretty broken situations, and the love they have given my family in spite of that is incredible. I knew I needed to fight harder for dogs just like them so I developed a drive to make a homeless dog whole again by finding them a family who will forever love them and educate the public on why they should consider animal adoption when they are looking for their pet. When I became aware that 4 million adoptable animals die in shelters each year, I knew I needed to do something more than what I was doing. So in 2013, I started a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foster-based dog rescue in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin area with a mission to save the dogs who needed us most. My time working in nonprofit at EAA and seeing the success it has with volunteers gave me the confidence that I could make this volunteer- run rescue successful. Volunteering gives me deeper meaning and purpose to my life. When I look into the eyes of a helpless animal that I helped save from death, who grows into a loving, compassionate soul and ends up thriving and unbelievably happy in their forever home; then I see his or her family who I helped make whole with their beloved pet, I know that I'm completing a mission that I was meant to do. My life now has more significance and I wouldn't trade that for anything.” – Sara Miller; Digital Marketing Associate
Staff volunteered at non-profits such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Loaves and Fishes of Appleton, Meals on Wheels, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Unforgettable Underdogs, Old Glory Honor Flight, Military Veterans Museum, Valley Academy of Arts and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In honor of EAA’s April Volunteer Appreciation Month, EAA selected one of the many local organizations where EAA employees volunteer to receive a $500 donation. This year, the donation goes to the YMCA in Oshkosh, WI. Thank you to all employees that volunteered during the month. With so many volunteers who give their time to EAA, it was great to see our employees share in the spirit of volunteerism.
Why do EAA employees feel a special connection to our volunteers? Because they believe in volunteerism, just like you!