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Thirdera: Changing the world around you – one community at a time!
We all had a crazy year: a global pandemic, working from home, not being able to travel or see our loved ones, homeschooling kids, missing out on face-to-face social interactions – you name it!
Sometimes the best way to deal with our own struggles is to support those who are even less fortunate. Volunteering and giving back has always been a way to bring positive changes to your community – and to your life. Maybe it is in-person, online, at your workplace, or the local shelter or with a thought, a hand, or a wallet – volunteering comes in many forms, and we cherish and celebrate them all!
With the National Volunteer Week right upon us, Thirdera is thrilled to shine a light on our employees and highlight their volunteering stories that inspire us to make a difference in our own communities.
Read Our Stories:
Astrid Espinosa: Rescuing Local Animals
“My sister and I found a newborn kitten on the stairs of our building,” shared Astrid Espinosa, Culture & People Experience Lead at Thirdera. “It was scared, and its eyes looked infected. We named it Popcorn, took it to the vet, nursed it back to health and found it a forever home. Then, after our beloved pet Luna died in an accident after running away, we wanted to honor her memory. We made donations both in money for the treatments and sterilization of street dogs and cats, and in dog food. I also decided to adopt two dogs - Macarena & Ginger.”
Astrid says that this experience made her more sensible to the problems of homeless animals. She recommends sponsoring the sterilization for one of these animals, acting as a temporary home for recovering ones, donating food in bulk, or providing one of them with a forever home.
“The love and kindness these animals can give you in return is worth more than gold,” says Astrid. It’s hard to not agree with her!
Harsh Bahl: Helping Local Kids Affected by Pandemic
Harsh Bahl – ServiceNow Remote Technical Consultant at Thirdera – helps his brother, Founder of Learning Initiatives for India (LIFI) to care for local kids that are out of school for various reasons, including the pandemic. “LIFI intends to create a movement of Youth Teacher Leaders and other contributors to provide support for out of school children and families - wherever they are. We started working in a village called Purkhas Rathi near Sonipat, Haryana, India. We went from door to door and started our pandemic specific intervention 'Listen and Learn' with 16 at-risk children in July 2020,” Harash tells us. “Now this initiative consists of 15+ members, 2 partner organizations and is running successfully in Haryana and Bihar. LIFI's long term intent is to create a supportive environment for local kids and partner organizations and ensure that out of school children are on a lifelong learning path.”
Sherry Burden: Supporting Local Mental Illness Institution
“I have decided to help Wake (National Alliance on Mental Illness Organization) because it helped me with taking care of my mother who has been diagnosed with Mental Health issues,” said Sherry Burden, Technical Business Analyst at Thirdera. She contributed as a gift wrapper, advertising assistant and a card writer.
According to Sherry, you find more happiness in your life when you volunteer: “Giving your time and services to strangers that cannot give you anything in return is very fulfilling and rewarding.”
James Graeme: Helping Local Farm Produce Food for Donations
James Graeme, Engagement Manager at Thirdera, has a unique volunteering experience: he performs land terraforming and irrigation design and installation at Old Racker Park and Farm in Alpharetta, GA.
“After building musical theater sets at a local church for 3 years, I decided to move to more outdoor work, and the farm was very close to my home. This farm teaches people how to grow food at their homes and is an experiential field for the local Cambridge Highschool Future Farmers of America program. Additionally, is a 100% organic growing facility and is a great alternative to chemical food production. Last year we donated 8,000 pounds of fresh vegetables to the local food bank and this year we expanded that capability by 50%.”
James is confident that community agriculture is becoming more popular, as people strive to be self-sufficient, help others, and lead a healthier lifestyle. For those who would like to contribute in a similar way, he recommends asking local government and charity organizations (food banks are a good start) for volunteering opportunities and searching online for "community agriculture".
Silvia Bonilla: Donating to Local Charities and Rescuing Animals
“My friend’s mother passed away from cancer in the end of March,” shares Silvia Bonilla, Talent Development Manager at Thirdera. “I could not attend the funeral but instead I made a donation to the environmental organization called "Reserva de Vida", it supports the reforestation in my country, Colombia. Also, a couple of months ago I wanted to buy some roses for my apartment. I decided to buy the plants from "Sanar Foundation" which helps children struggling from cancer. Recently I adopted a homeless puppy, found in the mountains of Bogotá, Colombia”.
Here is what inspired Silvia to give back: “I am grateful for my health and for my family. Volunteering and donating are my ways to give back to the world and express my gratitude”.
Bob McGill: Supporting Food Bank Event Hosted by Local Church
“Our church hosted three Food Bank events since the pandemic started, and I wasn't able to participate. This time, I wanted to be part of the experience and do something helpful for my community, so I contributed by taking filled out forms from families” says Bob McGill, Sr. Technical Consultant at Thirdera from Houston, TX.
According to Bob, the biggest lesson learned from his volunteering experience is that sometimes people from all levels of life can use a little help. “If you have a chance to do something like this, take it. The energy, and overall atmosphere of giving, and gratitude from the people makes it all worthwhile.”
Eddie Jaidi: Collecting Trash in the Desert
Eddie Jaidi – ServiceNow Technical Analyst at Thirdera – gives back to his community by picking up trash in the Arizona desert and recreation areas, as well as assisting with event logistics for this initiative. When asked what inspired him to donate his time, he shared that he enjoys giving back to the community, keeping local recreation areas open and contributing to wildfire prevention. “I like to teach my 7 years old son about volunteering and keeping our desert clean. It’s also fun to discover new areas of my state,” adds Eddie. According to him, this experience taught him humbleness: “No one is too good to pick up trash and keep our state clean. I enjoy contributing to my community and building a bond with my son, as we volunteer together”.
Click here to read more Thirdera employees’ inspiring stories about volunteering and giving back!