Great Lakes employees during a recent volunteer shift at the Northside’s The River Food Pantry. Photo by Katie Wing

Now looking for opportunities to help Northside nonprofits 

By Jeffrey Jensen
Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation

In February Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates launched a volunteer paid time off program to honor its 50th anniversary. The new program gives staff, including 950 employees in the Madison office on International Lane, up to eight hours to use this year volunteering at local United Way and Community Shares partner organizations on company time.

“We’ve been a proud Northside neighbor for 32 of our 50 years and are passionate about

Employees from Great Lakes donated 42,718 snacks to students at Gompers Elementary and Black Hawk Middle schools Feb. 14. This annual collection helps keep students’ minds sharp and focused on learning. Since 2014, employees have donated 150,719 snacks to the schools. Photo by Xeng Vang

making the Northside an even greater place to live and work,” said Amy Kerwin, vice president of Community Investments at Great Lakes. “This program aligns with our corporate mission to change lives for the better. It’s the perfect extension of the support we give to Gompers Elementary and Black Hawk Middle schools through our Adopt-a-School partnership with the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools.”

Employees at Great Lakes have quickly embraced the program. One Northside neighbor regularly getting help is The River Food Pantry. Each month, 10‒15 employees volunteer assisting families while they shop for donated food and clothing.

“Volunteer involvement is a critical and irreplaceable asset in making long-term change happen in Dane County,” said Renee Moe, president and CEO of United Way of Dane County. “I’m pleased to see Great Lakes stepping up to help the community and our partners with this type of initiative.”

According to Kerwin, Great Lakes wants to do more. “We’re ready to lend a hand wherever there is a need. Our Madison employees have a combined 7,500 volunteer hours to use in 2017 and are eager to help our community. If Great Lakes can be of service, we want to hear from you.”

United Way and Community Shares organizations looking for volunteer help can contact Stephanie Hayden, Great Lakes Employee Giving manager, at