CGB in Big Rad Saloon Magazine

Check out the article Columbus Gives Back is Paying it Forward in Big Rad Saloon Magazine by Brad Finnearty!

Columbus Gives Back Is Paying It Forward.

Columbus Gives Back is paying it forward as a volunteering-focused non-profit organization whose emphasis is on not only giving back to the city we love but also on fostering connectedness with and among our volunteers.” One of the great things about volunteering is that you not only get to help people or organizations that can use your help, but you also meet people who have similar interests who you can work with the rest of your life in many different ways. These bonds are not only good for the people volunteering but foster good things throughout the community.

What can I do?

I am the type of person who some people say does not value their time. By that I mean if I believe in something I will work to help that cause, and I will do it for free. I have done it several times in my life. The most rewarding time doing that was as the Marketing Director for the Logan-Hocking Activity Center in Logan, Ohio. When I found out someone was making a community/activity center for a town that had nothing for the youth in the town and nothing for the people I had to go see if they needed volunteer help.

The first “issue” I ran into was that they said they needed people to clean, paint, etc. Well, that was fine, I understand that things like that need done. I had a skill though. I could build a website for them. I knew people in the entertainment field. I could help get attention for them. When I talked to the director of the center and told her about that she jumped on that. She knew my skills could help the organization. That was the start of my volunteering at the center. Everything I did was for free. I donated my time and services to the center.

I have found that in a lot of situations that if you go to volunteer for something they may not actually care about your skillset, they only know what they need, so you may not be of help to that organization. It however also comes down to what you want to do to help that organization. In other words, your passions, or abilities have to line up with what is needed to be done. I am sure that I am not the only one who has run into that situation.

Volunteering opportunities for everyone

That is where Columbus Gives Back not only comes into play, they take the lead in helping people who want to volunteer find a place that is best for them, whether it is to use their skills, their passions, or whatever the volunteer feels they can or want to do. The mission of Columbus Gives Back “is to provide social volunteer and philanthropic opportunities for young professionals and to create a culture of community engagement to connect people to central Ohio.” This gives young professionals the chance to find the joy of volunteering as well as network with others who have the same interests in life and helps them develop their philanthropic side.

They are partnered with over 80 different organizations to help find volunteers and sponsor volunteer events. Opportunities like working with animals at Almost Home Dog Rescue and RESCUEDohio. There are food pantries and stores like Little Bottoms Free Store. There is also the Alzheimer’s Association and many others.

Finding the right fit.

Columbus gives back has many opportunities to volunteer, but also helps you find the opportunity that you can fill during the times you can do the work. This schedule for the month of August 2021 so far has 12 different days of volunteering opportunities with some days having more than one event.

It should be relatively easy to find a chance to volunteer to help the community. Things like Volunteer for Inprem Drive-Thru Food Pantry – 8/2/21 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. There is also Beautify Walnutview Park with Cbus Recreation & Parks! – 8/7/2021 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Handling the pandemic

Safety is another concern when it comes to volunteering. Especially during the pandemic that has been ruling the way things happen in the world for more than a year.

The organization had to change the way it did things during the COVID pandemic. The Board President wrote that “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbus Gives Back has had to shift our model slightly, and demonstrate our social volunteer mission in a revised way. We have continued to listen to the needs of and work with nonprofit partners who can welcome external volunteers at this time, adhered strictly to safe protocols at each volunteer event, and are innovating new ways to build community with volunteers when we cannot gather in-person. For example, later this month, we will be hosting our first-ever virtual philanthropic happy hour that will be an opportunity to learn more about SON ministries and complete a volunteer project from home. We’ve got a great leadership team in CGB, and we’re ready to serve more in 2021!”—Board President: Diana Yates

Working to help others for more than a decade

Columbus Gives Back has been helping the community since 2009 with the many volunteering events and things they have done. In the more than 12 years of service, they have helped with close to 2600 volunteers during 1925 events. CGB is yet another example of how people have been working to bring people together to help others for a long time.

In my article about Starfish Assignment, I used the quote from President Kennedy about “ask what you can do for your country” only I changed it to “ask not what others can do for you, but what you can do to help others” and I completely believe that. I believe that we can place much more emphasis on caring for our fellow man, to help them, to lift them up and not so much on how much money we can make.

To me, the feeling of knowing I did something to help advance a community, or just one person or organization in the world is a feeling that a paycheck or money just can’t give me. I just believe that to be truly successful a person has to care about your fellow man and want to see everyone succeed in life.

Columbus gives back helps young professionals network, socialize and help their fellow man at the same time. Since they have been doing it for more than 12 years they are definitely on to something.

Dispatch Feature: Earth Day Cleanup Efforts

Columbus Gives Back was spotted out and about in the Columbus area by The Columbus Dispatch! CGB, Green Columbus and the Ohio Roller Derby league came together in an effort to clean up an area of the South Side.

On a sunny warm day, group enjoys participating in South Side cleanup effort

Photo Credit: Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatch

On a typical April weekend in the past, Candace “Chainsaw” Moser would be whirling around a roller derby track, smashing into competitors.

But with the Ohio Roller Derby league now in its second season of hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moser instead on Saturday was walking along S. 17th Street on the South Side, picking up cigarette butts and candy wrappers.

Along with her husband, Drew Stafford, and daughter Ember Stafford, 12, Moser was among about a half-dozen of her roller derby teammates who joined Saturday’s cleanup, organized by the nonprofit volunteer group Green Columbus as part of its Earth Day Columbus effort.

“We came out to be together (as teammates), since we can’t play roller derby right now,” said Moser, of Gahanna. “We can’t wait to get back, but we’re finding good things to do in the meantime.”

All told, about 15 people gathered for the cleanup, which began at the Community Grounds coffee shop on Parsons Avenue. Green Columbus had scheduled several other cleanup events around the city on Saturday, as well.

Shop co-owner Tara Mullins-Cosme was the event leader. She welcomed the group, passed out equipment and gave them directions. She said she was pleased with the turnout.

“One thing that has been nice about the pandemic is when we are able to have safe ways to give back, we’re getting more people for service-oriented events than we’ve ever gotten before,” said Mullins-Cosme, of the South Side.

The group then headed through the nearby streets: East on Deshler, past South High School, then up 17th to Siebert Ave.

On a sunny day with temperatures in the low 70s, they worked to the sounds of the clicking trash pickers and the swishing black trash bags.

One of the participants, Doug Hermanson, of Columbus’ Harrison West neighborhood, is an event leader for Columbus Gives Back, a volunteer group that helped publicize the cleanup.

“I like the outdoor events,” said Hermanson, who is an economist. “I sit at a desk all day, pointing and clicking, so picking up trash or planting flowers is something I’m actually totally OK with, especially when the weather is nice.

“And all for a good cause, which makes it all the more rewarding.”

At the corner of 17th and Siebert, the group spent some time working at a pocket park there, owned by Mullins-Cosme and her husband, Joel Cosme.

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