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Being surrounded by like-minded people is incredibly rewarding

By Robin Brown


All employees at Ashfield Meetings & Events and its sister brand, SPARK THINKING, are eligible to take one day away from their daily role, to volunteer for a charitable cause. Whether it’s packing boxes for a food pantry or helping elementary school children brush up on their reading skills, we recognise the value of getting together with friends, family, colleagues or, even doing it solo – to make an impact in our communities or for a worthy cause.

A recent study by Harvard showed that people who consistently provide social support were the most likely to remain positive during times of high stress. As long as we are not over committing ourselves, helping others is proven to have a positive effect on our mood.

Volunteering strengthens relationships and that’s always a good story to share. One of our Project Managers out of our Indianapolis, Indiana office, Robin Brown, is someone who already actively supports a good cause. We wanted to find out how volunteering makes her feel and the impact it has on her overall well-being.

Where do you volunteer?
I currently volunteer at the Indiana Sports Corp Volunteers and IUPUI School of Social work.

How long have you been volunteering for?
I have been volunteering for over twenty years across many different local organizations and levels. The main reason why I continue to volunteer is it’s such a great way to give back to the community and Indianapolis – the city that I love. I joined the Indiana Sports Corp Volunteers before I even got started in the events and hospitality industry because it gave me the opportunity to volunteer at local attractions like the zoo or the PanAm Games. I even volunteered for the Final Four where we were truly ambassadors to the city, lending our expertise and knowledge to all visitors and attendees of the prestigious basketball tournament.

What sparked your interest in volunteering?
My five siblings and I have been volunteering since we were very young. My mother and father instilled in us that we need to work together as a team and one unit and the best way to learn to do that was to get out of the house and give back. To this day, we still work together when we have family picnics, vacations, and everything in between. We learned early on that we have to be there for each other to problem solve and help each other by using the best resources we have – our time and attention.

What are your main volunteering duties?
Many of my volunteering responsibilities are similar to my responsibilities here at Ashfield Meetings & Events. I lend my expertise to support VIP management, greeter and transportation management working with ground companies, as well as managing food and beverage.

For an upcoming program I am volunteering on behalf of the Diversity Golf Classic, I am managing a group of ten volunteers to make sure they have registration tables setup, welcome packets put together, and am leading on the food and beverage management. I’ll make sure all the catering is setup how it should be, liaising with catering staff to make sure meals are timed correctly.

Many of the skills I exhibit when volunteering are completely transferable to my day-to-day role as a project manager. We have been volunteering and planning this 100-person golf outing for over six months so it will be amazing to see it finally come together.

What impact do you make in the place where you volunteer?
I’ve continued to grow sponsorship for the golf outing by creating a seamless experience for the organization and attendees alike. Attendees want to come back and continue to show support for the organization in the future. By delivering flawless events, attendees continue to believe in the cause and continue to raise money for scholarships for the kids. The impact that the sponsorship, donations and overall event has on the community is creating better opportunities for the children that it supports.

I have even been able to encourage my nieces and nephews into volunteering. It allows me to continue to instill in them what my parents instilled in me about volunteering – that is provides you with an opportunity to meet people, be responsible for yourself and handle a job, and how to act with integrity at all times.

How does volunteering make you feel?
It is extremely difficult to put into words how volunteering makes me feel. Providing my skills, expertise and time to give back to the community and youth is incredibly rewarding. The people I meet and talk to appreciate the time I give them. I love being able to share my passion with children and families in need. I love being able to inspire others to volunteer and meet people from different walks of life.

What advice would you give to people who’d like to venture into volunteering?
Volunteering to do something you are passionate about will never feel like a chore. I am so grateful that we have a day devoted to volunteering at work – Ashfield is so supportive and encourages us to explore and develop our passions in, and outside of work. Give it a try! You might find that giving your time and energy to help others will make you feel good.

Disclaimer: Any statements given are Robin’s own opinions. We do not speak on behalf of Indiana Sports Corp Volunteers, IUPUI School of Social work and the Diversity Golf Classic.

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