4-H has always been near and dear to Nancy Greenwood, a network administration coach on Wellmark's Provider Network Administration team.
She was a member of the organization for nine years growing up and has continued her passion for the club as an adult. Her daughter is a member of the "Beaver Hustlers" 4-H club based in Mitchellville, but the club includes kids from the neighboring communities of Altoona, Bondurant, and Runnels.
For Nancy, volunteering with 4-H has been so rewarding because she has the opportunity to work with kids to teach them important life skills and the benefits of helping your community.
"My StandOut strengths are teacher and creator, and those strength roles fit perfectly both at work, in 4-H, and in life with helping people," she says. "Helping people is my passion. It's just fun to help kids spark their creativity and see them grow and learn to come up with their own answers before you ask the questions."
Nancy can give more through BluesCare Giving
Last year, the City of Mitchellville approached the 4-H club to help with a community beautification project of placing flowerpots through the center of town.
The project was such a success it blossomed into an even larger undertaking in 2021. The club wanted to increase the number of pots, replace the old flowerpots with brand new ones, build wooden stands for the pots to sit on to make the display even nicer. The club presented their plan to the city, received approval, and got to work pitching their project and filling out grant applications for funding.
According to Nancy, this project was a "lightbulb moment" to start logging her Personal Volunteer Time (PVT) and use her PVT designations to help support the cause.
"BluesCare Giving has allowed me to not only volunteer my time but also turn that into a monetary donation I could designate toward the project," she said. "This has really been a win-win opportunity because The Wellmark Foundation dollars have helped both the kids in the 4-H club and the Mitchellville community."
In May, the club planted and placed 32 flowerpots along Center Avenue in Mitchellville which was double the number of pots from the previous year. The club hopes to continue the project for years to come and, Nancy knows the skills the club members have learned along the way will also benefit them for years to come.
"Volunteers like Nancy help push us to be better at our projects and inspire us to be better people," said one member of the 4-H club.
The club also took the project to the Polk County Fair. They did such a wonderful job it was selected to advance to the Iowa State Fair in the area of Citizenship and Civic Engagement.
A way Wellmark employees show they care
Nancy encourages all employees to seek out ways to use the BluesCare Giving program and showcase Wellmark's core value of caring through community giving — whether that's through volunteerism, matching gifts or the payroll deduction program.
"Volunteering not only makes you feel good, but it's also great for the community and the organizations you’re impacting," she says. "You feel really good as a person knowing you've done something good for others. The Wellmark Foundation is giving us a chance to double our impact and feel twice as good — take advantage of that. You're leaving money on the table if you don't!"
To find out if your nonprofit organization is eligible for the BluesCare Giving program, contact BluesCareGiving@wellmark.com Send Email.