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Volunteering to connect with what's important

Everyone has a different “why” when it comes to volunteering. Financial Specialist in Billing Operations, Marissa Townsley is no exception. For the past four years, Marissa has been volunteering for Metro Youth Athletics ─ a youth football program that currently operates at Des Moines North High School for grades three through seven. She shared that volunteering is important to her because it is the best way for her to give back. Plus, it provides an immediate impact.

Marissa's oldest son

Volunteering for Metro Youth Athletics made sense to Marissa since she has two children involved in the program. Now when she attends games and practices, she connects with players and parents through taking registrations, communications, organizing medical volunteers, cleaning up, concession stand duties, running the clock for games and providing player contact information for each family.

“I was inspired to volunteer with Metro Youth Athletics when my oldest son got involved with the program,” said Marissa. “I saw a need, and an opportunity to help within the program so I made myself useful. I volunteer to do a wide array of tasks.”

However, her favorite part of volunteering has been organizing the end of the season celebration for players and families. The celebration showcases student athletes and presents them with awards, accolades and a delicious meal to enjoy with their teammates and families.

Marissa's youngest son.

Marissa, who has worked at Wellmark for eight years said it’s easy to use the BluesCareSM Giving program to record her volunteer hours. “There are weeks during football season where I volunteer multiple times in the same week and can submit a Personal Volunteer Time form for multiple dates at once,” she said. “It’s so easy! Some of the volunteer work I do can be repetitive, but I use BluesCare Giving to give back even more to my community and the program.”

The equipment that Metro Youth Athletics has comes from donations to the program. Some of the helmets were old and needed to be replaced after nearly 10 years of ware. However, this year Marissa’s designated funding from the BluesCare Giving program helped to purchase 20 helmets and new equipment for the players. “Choosing to designate my Bluescare Giving dollars directly back to the program allows them to continue serving as many kids as possible,” she said. “If we don’t replace our old equipment then we have to cut our teams, which means less students get to participate.”

About BluesCare Giving

The Wellmark Foundation’s BluesCare Giving program provides necessary funding to eligible nonprofit organizations. Employees may earn the opportunity to designate dollars by volunteering or through a dollar-for-dollar matching gift donation.

In just four hours, team members can volunteer and earn $100 to direct to a qualified nonprofit organization of their choice.

To find out if your nonprofit organization is eligible for the BluesCare Giving program, contact BluesCareGiving@wellmark.com.