2021 Volunteer Impact: Showcasing Our Employees Who Love to Give Back
As another year of giving wraps up at CoverMyMeds, we’re excited to highlight five employees who went above and beyond to “Do the Right Thing” and “Be Selfless” in 2021. Together, they logged 380 volunteer hours this year — representing 21% of the company’s total.
Two of the growth mindsets guiding CoverMyMeds employees — “Do the Right Thing” and “Be Selfless” — come to life through our annual volunteer efforts. We’re proud to end 2021 with 1,806 hours volunteered thanks to our generous employees who gave back to support 57 organizations.
Every employee — no matter where they work — is empowered to volunteer, and Besa makes it particularly convenient to get involved. Besa is a nonprofit that connects companies like CoverMyMeds with local charities including food banks, community gardens, homeless shelters, senior homes and humane societies.
Alex Wilkins is the manager of corporate social responsibility at Besa, and she’s CoverMyMeds’ go-to resource for identifying relevant volunteer opportunities for employees in Columbus.
“Besa started working with CoverMyMeds in 2017, and it’s been a wonderful relationship ever since,” Alex said. “I go to a lot of volunteer events, and I constantly see people in bright orange T-shirts representing CoverMyMeds and giving back to the local community.”
In 2021, CoverMyMeds grew to include 5,000+ employees in locations across the country — providing an opportunity to make an even bigger impact. Three hours south of Columbus, our team in Louisville, Ky. recently wrapped up a Toys for Tots drive in anticipation of the holiday season — proving that our employees’ efforts go beyond what Besa helps coordinate in Ohio.
I constantly see people in bright orange T-shirts representing CoverMyMeds and giving back to the local community.
Recognizing the top employee volunteers of 2021
As we reflect on our company’s collective volunteer impact, we’d be remiss to not individually recognize five employees who went above and beyond to “Do the Right Thing” and “Be Selfless” in their daily lives:
- Almeida Dye
- Jared French
- Jo Homann
- Marideth Leonard
- Amanda Jenkins
As a group, Almeida, Jared, Jo, Marideth and Amanda logged 380 volunteer hours in 2021 — 21% of the company’s total for the year. They each took time out of their busy schedules to sit down and elaborate on the inspiration behind their altruism.
Almeida Dye: An ongoing example to every employee at CoverMyMeds
For the second year in a row, Cleveland-based Case Manager Almeida Dye volunteered more hours than any other CoverMyMeds employee in 2021. From Family Promise and the Cleveland Food Bank to Buffer Charity and her church’s homeless ministry, Almeida volunteered at a number of nonprofits — particularly during August for CoverMyCommunity.
“August is my shut-down month,” Almeida said. “Don’t ask me to do anything because all I do is volunteer. I already told my mother — if we go on vacation, it’s got to be before or after August.”
Although CoverMyCommunity may amplify Almeida’s competitive streak, she's been racking up the hours since she was a 12-year-old candy striper at a local hospital in Cleveland. According to Almeida, her grandmother taught her to give back to others.
“My grandmother lived in the projects, and she always helped children,” Almeida said. “If she found a toy on the ground, she’d take it home and clean it up. She had a collection of toys for the entire neighborhood, and she’d open her door for kids to come in and play.”
August is my shut-down month. Don’t ask me to do anything because all I do is volunteer.
Jared French: Proving there’s an opportunity for everyone
At the beginning of 2021, Jared French, creative director at CoverMyMeds, set a goal for himself — 40 hours of volunteer work. As of December 2021, he’s doubled that goal.
“Most of my hours are with FEEDdelaware — a drive-through food pantry that works out of the Delaware City Vineyard church,” Jared said. “They’re a hub for Mid-Ohio Food Collective, so I drive to Grove City twice a month to pick up fresh produce for the pantry.”
When Jared isn’t volunteering at FEEDdelaware, he’s encouraging his coworkers to pursue projects of their own. Recently, he organized a trash pick-up for CoverMyMeds’ marketing team at Rhodes Park — in total, the group collected 33 bags of litter. According to Jared, the experience was especially fulfilling.
However, if trash pick-up isn’t your thing, that’s OK. There’s plenty else to do.
“Besa provides a full spectrum of opportunities for CoverMyMeds employees to take advantage of,” Jared said. “For example, I recently signed up to socialize rescued bunnies with Ohio House Rabbit Rescue. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that?”
Jo Homann: Supporting her local community in Cleveland
Another top volunteer in 2021 was Jo Homann, human resource management system analyst at CoverMyMeds. Like Almeida, Jo is another Cleveland-based employee; many of her volunteer efforts involve her community of University Heights.
“I clean up local parks every Saturday morning, and I’m also on the Citizen Advisory Committee on Policing Policies,” Jo said. “The mayor called for applicants as a response to 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement, and we just wrapped up this year — the police chief recently sent an update on the changes they were able to implement.”
Beyond those activities, Jo has served on the Achievement Centers for Children associate board for three years, helping co-chair fundraising events for the nonprofit. She also donates blood through American Red Cross every eight weeks — a habit she picked up consistently during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have a background in teaching, so I love helping to advance education and development," Jo said. "Seeing the community impact even one person can make is the best motivation."
Marideth Leonard: Baked goods for nonprofits and the people they serve
Marideth Leonard, case manager at CoverMyMeds, is an excellent example of what it looks like to transform a fun passion into a worthy cause — and she’s got the volunteer hours to prove it.
“I watched ‘The Great British Bake Off’ a couple years ago and thought — hey, I want to do that,” Marideth said. Since then, Marideth estimates she’s baked over 3,000 cookies, cupcakes and scones — donating her tasty creations and bake sale profits to a variety of nonprofits.
Marideth bakes from her “regular, ranch-style kitchen,” as she calls it — but that doesn’t impact the quality of her desserts.
"I use high-quality chocolate chips, Dutch-process cocoa powder and real butter — no shortcuts allowed," she said.
Prior to CoverMyMeds, Marideth worked at a few nonprofits, and she knows the job can be exhausting — baking treats for those employees is how she says thanks.
One organization Marideth frequently donates to is Star House, a drop-in center for youths experiencing homelessness. She also organized a bake sale during CoverMyCommunity, raising $1,000 for Columbus Humane.
Amanda Jenkins: Using volunteerism to stay connected with coworkers
When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted CoverMyMeds to ask employees to work from home, Human Resources Manager Amanda Jenkins and her boss Lisa Naoom decided to volunteer together twice per month to stay connected.
“It was an easy and rewarding way for us to safely see each other while also giving back,” Amanda said.
Beyond those regular meetups, Amanda volunteers at her local fire station, passing out food to families who drive through. She also helps to clean classrooms in underprivileged neighborhoods.
“It was a long shift on my feet, but I was having so much fun I didn’t care,” she said.
Before working at CoverMyMeds, Amanda wanted to volunteer but didn’t know where to start.
“Our connection with Besa makes it so easy to get involved, it’s almost impossible to say no,” she said.
Our connection with Besa makes it so easy to get involved, it’s almost impossible to say no.
Celebrating a new year of giving at CoverMyMeds
2022 is upon us, and our employees are gearing up for another year of giving back. We already have plans for supporting Pelotonia in August, along with our annual CoverMyCommunity competition that same month.
Thankfully, Besa will be with CoverMyMeds every step of the way to inspire our employees with a rotating roster of volunteer opportunities. Additionally, we’ll continue to lead by example by sponsoring festivals and events, nominating employees to serve on nonprofit boards, supporting STEM education in Columbus City Schools, supporting local businesses and more.
“Large companies have a wealth of resources at their disposal, so it’s amazing to see CoverMyMeds actively share theirs with so many individuals and organizations,” Alex said. “It might sound cheesy, but a rising tide lifts all boats — what’s good for the community is good for all of us.”
Want to up your volunteer game in 2022? It’s easy — sign up for Besa and browse through upcoming projects.