Bank Mutual is founded on the idea of creating value in the communities of its customers and employees. Brian Danzinger exemplifies this spirit by committing his time and talents to serving others through volunteerism in and around Green Bay. Brian took a moment to share some of his reasons for volunteering.
Q: What motivates you to volunteer even though you have other obligations, like work?
BD: There is a quote I always like to reference when I think about community service and it goes something like this: “I look at challenges in the world around me and always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that…then I realized I was somebody”. Everyone has the potential to make an impact on the community and environment around them and volunteerism empowers us to have a direct influence to making our neighborhood, our city, and our world a better place. Even just a few hours a month can make a huge difference in tackling issues like food insecurity, homelessness, education, and poverty. Also, did you know that a study by the Journal of Psychology and Aging showed that people that volunteered are 25% less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure. Plus, volunteering has been connected to reducing stress by Annual Review of Sociology (so volunteering even has health benefits).
2. Can you tell a story about a significant moment that reminded you of the worth of being involved in a cause you’re part of?
I have been very fortunate to be part of a number community initiatives and efforts, like the Zumba Day By The Bay event at Lambeau Field where we encouraged over 5,000 people to be healthy and active for a day as well as a number of amazing organizations and bib-profit groups. While it is difficult to pick one particular moment or experience that stands out from the rest, I think in every case I have been moved by the empathy, commitment, and energy of the other volunteers. Regardless of the cause, the volunteers you work alongside with are usually some pretty amazing people who have incredible stories and reasons for participating. Sometimes it is because they have a family member or loved one impacted by an issue. Sometimes it is something that has impacted them directly in the past and this is their chance to give back. Others just want the opportunity to “do goo” in this world. There is something very rewarding about surrounding yourself with people who share this idea of serving something greater than themselves and that to me, is the most significant part of being involved. I am part of the something called the 50/50 challenge where we volunteer at least 1 hour in all 50 states – while a challenge logistically, I have met some pretty incredible people and seen some creative ways that other organizations address challenges in their community.
3. What would you say to other people who are figuring out where to volunteer?
If you want to get more involved, first identify what are some of the causes or issues that are important to you. Reach out to organizations that you want to learn more about, chat with their staff if you have, or shadow some of their other volunteers during a community service endeavor. If you have friends or colleagues that volunteer, ask where they like to volunteer and dedicate their time (volunteering with people you know can also be a more comfortable way to get involved). We are very fortunate to be at an organization that supports volunteerism, so even consider a group outing with fellow staff members. Most cities or counties have volunteer centers that solicit volunteers and post upcoming opportunities to lend a hand. Also identify how much time you are willing to commit. While some organizations may want a longer commitment, there are plenty of organizations that need one-time volunteers to help with larger events or festivals. Finally, if you are not into “formal” volunteering, even just being more engaged and connected to your community can have an impact. Buy from a small business if possible, attend a local theater production, go to a high school sporting event, or just check out a local art show – all of those activities can help. Even the smallest of pebbles can make the largest ripples.
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