I feel that part of Experian’s responsibility as a global information services company is to build and bolster community involvement initiatives that help others. I’m currently a manager of our Fraud Resolution Team and Credit Educator Department in Allen, Texas, but I also have the honor of managing all outreach programs for our branch, bringing together Experian employees to give back to the community.
Taking on a volunteer project on top of regular work can be daunting. As the point person for my office’s volunteerism, I’m in charge of communications about upcoming events and drumming up interest and excitement among employees, be it through flyers, silly videos, emails or even free t-shirts. I know a lot of my fellow employees, but I don’t know everyone, so spreading the word isn’t always easy. Despite these challenges, I continue doing this important work because I care about the impact Experian makes in its local communities.
My first volunteer experience with Experian was working alongside Stop Hunger Now – an international hunger relief nonprofit – several years ago. I was amazed at the impact we had. Shortly thereafter, I also participated in a canned food drive, rallying Experian employees to visit the Texas Food Bank. After these two chaotic, inspirational, behind-the-scenes experiences, my interest was permanently piqued in on-site volunteer days within the Allen community. Since then, I’ve organized volunteer days with many other nonprofit programs.
The amount of organization and work that goes into each volunteer day is much more than you might think. For every Stop Hunger Now event, we package 10,000 meals for those in need, which requires about 100 volunteers dedicating their time. When we worked with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization devoted to building homes for those who need them, our first two scheduled events were rained out – and it never rains in Texas! I was worried that no one would show up the third time, when we had to reschedule for 7 a.m. on a Saturday. Luckily, every single volunteer spot was filled. We got to meet the family we were building a house for, and we all signed a piece of wood from the house for them. Their gratitude made all the frustration and extra work worth it.
It takes a village to get some of these events off the ground, but I have a strong support structure at Experian. And learning to empathize with people through volunteering helps me in my day-to-day work. People who are dealing with fraud can be very emotional, and fraud is unexpected by nature. My volunteering experience has equipped me with the skills needed to empathize with others better and think on my feet.