Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009 - Live United!

Hey there, hi there and hello there. What does it really mean to Live United? That's what this weekend has been all about, a life-changing experience for the students and volunteers:) O yes, one more week until Halloween as well and I still need to figure out what I'm wearing to work!
Aflac was still pretty busy this week even though I was there only Monday through Thursday. We had our big Online Service roll-out this week with a re-skin and the elevation of the Duck Pond, an online community for our accounts to share, connect and learn. I was asked to be the community manager, so it shold be a pretty interesting next few months to see how we can incorporate all the feedback into what we do to improve the customer experience. This week was also the final week for my appraisals, which I administered to most of my team on Thursday. The best feeling is walking out of an appraisal and having every single employee thank you for a fair and just eval, great feeling indeed:) O yes, and I received mine that went quite well too.
I handed in my 19 page Econ final on Wednesday, the first one to hand it in of the 100 classmates ... now, I don't think that guarantees the A, but I tel you what ... lifts a huge weight off my shoulders for the weekend. I am very excited about my new Processing Systems class too that talks about process innovation, improvements and manufacturing systems. The professor is pretty engaging and the topics are truly relevant to what I've done in the past and what I'm doing today.
The best part of the week started Friday morning as we began day one of the 1st Annual Live United Youth Camp. This was an idea that was sparked from my mom's Pacesetter Youth Camp back at the United Way of East Central Iowa, so I brought it to Columbus about 10 months ago. All of the planning was worth it to see the impact the camp had on these 12 seventh grade students' lives. Friday we focused on what others do without money, so many lessons on homelessness were learned at Open Door Community House and the Homeless Resource Network. They volunteered with a showering program, listened to a homeless man tell his story, participated in a homeless simulation and helped Open Door by stuffing 372 bags of candy for kids less fortunate. The end of the day reflection gave me goosebumps for a half an hour when the kids shared their aha moment of the day and how it had changed their lives. Saturday the students helped sort clothes for the Columbus Dream Center, played some soccer tennis and bought clothes for those less fortunate after a tour of Goodwill. Today was our last day, so we all met up at the local Wal-Mart where we split the kids into 6 groups of 2 as they brainstormed ideas for items to give back to Open Door and the Homeless Resource network. Each team had $50 to buy tubs, backpacks, toiletries, rec equipment, blankets and so much more for these well deserving agencies. The graduation ceremony brought all of the student's parents together to learn about the weekend, and instea of going on for another 4 pages, I'll let you check out the video we showed the parents ( & (
I've always volunteered, but helping others learn the importance of giving back is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Thanks to all the volunteers, agencies and most importantly, the students for an experience of a lifetime!
Hope you all have a week in which you can learn what Living United is all about:)

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