Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Communities benefit from employees’ gift of time

An initiative launched by employees in customer operations and customer services in 2011 is making life better for the communities served by We Energies. Through the initiative – Create a Day of Service – employees have opportunities to volunteer their personal time for a variety of projects.

A team of employees from the Waukesha and Delafield service centers recently helped to build a Born Learning Trail in Nettesheim Park in Pewaukee. The trail helps make a visit to the park fun and informational. Adults and caregivers walking with children along the trail encounter stopping points that invite them to play a game of hopscotch, listen to sounds along the trail or identify butterflies, among other activities.

The employees dug holes for posts, painted the instructional signs and laid down crushed gravel for the pathway.

“We had fun working together,” said Patty Galante, manager-customer service, Waukesha Service Center, who co-organized the event. The work was completed over two work sessions by a group of 14 employees. The trail will be dedicated today.

Dedication details

Create a Day of Service activities are being planned at least quarterly, according to Karin Poznanski, executive assistant, Waukesha Service Center, event coordinator. Each service center has a volunteer activity coordinator who invites employees to suggest ways they and their co-workers can get involved in the communities they serve. In addition to hands-on work, service centers may sponsor collections for those who need help. A drive to collect items such as soap, toothpaste and socks for homeless men served by the Salvation Army currently is under way at the Waukesha and Delafield service centers.

The Create a Day of Service initiative has the potential to increase company visibility in the community, boost the company’s reputation and improve employee morale through teamwork, according to Galante, who is co-chairing the initiative with Paul DeWolfe, manager customer service – Winnebago Service Center. Nine additional customer operations employees serve on the steering committee.

Born Learning is a national campaign that helps parents, grandparents and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. Born Learning is a focus area of United Way of Waukesha County.

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