Chris Covington got a warm surprise when he recently volunteered on Columbus Day by making coffee and passing out donuts at Amber Oaks Assisted Living Community.
“I told an older lady she looked 28 and she pulled me right in and kissed me on the cheek,” says Covington. “She was 94 years old, had short hair and was really nice. She was just so cute!”
Covington, a 22-year-old teller at Citizens Union Bank, was one of dozens of CUB employees who spent Columbus Day volunteering at non-profits throughout Kentucky. CUB employees received paid time off to go out into their communities and be of service during this annual CUB Columbus Day event.
Covington says that his co-workers also played Bingo and painted fingernails as a way of caring for Amber Oaks residents.
Altruism and community involvement appeal to Millennials. This generation likes working for a company with a strong moral compass and a tilt toward everyday humanitarianism.
Alicia Whisman, 29, who is also a CUB teller, spent her day with five co-workers volunteering at Shelby Trails Park, part of the Shelby County Parks and Recreation Department.
“It was pretty cold and rainy and muddy and misting,” Whisman says. “But no one had a poor attitude and we still had fun. There were four or five horses, and a couple of them followed us around and nudged us as we cleaned out stalls and fixed fences. They wanted attention.”
Whisman continues, “I used to work for a large corporation that didn’t do this kind of thing. But I really enjoy it. It’s important to me.”
Millennials who are interested in “bigger issues” and social justice find a home at CUB where giving back is not just a slogan but a way to behave every day.
We have big hearts
“I think when we volunteer it shows that our communities can stick together despite all the horrible things we hear on the news going on around the world,” Whisman says. “We are strong and we have big hearts. It also shows what a great company CUB is to work for.”
Millennials – t
he cohort born between roughly 1982 and 2004 – are an innovative, entrepreneurial bunch who are sometimes criticized for feeling “entitled” but are also heralded as the most gender and ethnically inclusive generation ever. They think globally and were weaned on social media, and for them texting has replaced phone calls and emails as a way of communicating. CUB embraces this generation.
“If we don’t become part of the community, then there’s not going to be a community to be part of,” says Covington, who fully enjoyed his day swapping stories with 90-year-olds.
During CUB’s 2017 community service day, 14 agencies benefitted from visits by CUB employees. Those include: Bullitt County Humane Society, The Backpack Program, Amber Oaks, Shelby Trails Park, Owen County Senior Center, Bluegrass Center for Autism, Spencer County Library, Serenity Center, Dorman Center, Habitat for Humanity, Awake Ministries, Critically Loved Center and Operation Care. Employees even served a meal to firefighters at the Simpsonville Fire Department.
Taylor Hughes, a 20-year-old teller, had planned to volunteer at Serenity Center that day but instead had to step in last-minute to cover a work shift for a colleague. In his own way, he volunteered and was of service to customers and his colleague.
“Honestly, I was kind of sad that I didn’t get to go, but someone had to step forward and fill in,” Hughes says. “The next time CUB volunteers, put my name down and I’m all in. I really want to do it!”
Covington says CUB’s culture is a perfect fit for his personal values.
“As a young man growing up in a small church in Shelbyville, one of the things I learned early was to love and serve where you are,” he says. “I have worked for several organizations in my short life, and not one of them reached the high level of CUB’s commitment to volunteering, supporting their employees and caring for customers.”
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