To celebrate National Volunteer Month, we spoke with AEP Ohio team members to hear how they give back to the community. Read more below:
Whether it’s sorting and packing food, verifying expiration dates or even seeking out bruised fruit, Laura McCabe has done it all at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective—so much so that this AEP Ohio customer account manager made it her mission this year to expand her volunteer efforts beyond the food bank in Grove City.
“There are so many different locations that need help and so many opportunities with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective,” said Laura, a six-year employee of AEP Ohio. “There’s a chance to find something you really enjoy doing as a volunteer.”
Laura’s love for helping others developed young as a Girl Scout, and continued into college. She recalled a trip to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina where she helped rebuild homes with Habitat for Humanity. Now, she focuses her volunteering time with the arts in Columbus, the Mid-Ohio Food Collective and with LifeCare Alliance’s Meals on Wheels program.
“Some of the people don’t talk to anyone all day,” explained Laura. “One woman gave me a big hug when she opened her door and we talked for a while about pets and her family farm.”
Laura encouraged anyone who can give their time to a cause in their own community to give it a try. She called it a win-win. For the volunteer, it’s a way to connect with other people who have similar interests, and for the organization – it’s the donation of much needed help.
“You don’t just have to write a check,” said Laura. “You’re saving organizations money by donating your time. For many of them, having people there to get things done is crucial. Find something you enjoy and sign up to volunteer with friends and family.”