Amanda Wilson has always had the will and desire to give back, but hasn’t always known how.
Through her work and her affiliation with a community volunteer hub, she has found many avenues.
Wilson is the director of accounting at Kaufman Development, which encourages employees to donate their time and talents through Besa, a Columbus organization that connects people with more than 50 partner charities.
“Kaufman really promotes volunteering through Besa, which makes the process transparent and makes volunteering easier,” Wilson said. “I’ve always loved helping, even though I couldn’t always find a way. Sometimes I didn’t know how to help, which by default has become inaction. ”
Today, the 32-year-old Short North resident is anything but inactive. So far this year, she has devoted more than 50 hours to 24 projects, from packaging and distributing food with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to preparing treats for victims of domestic violence through LSS CHOICES. She picks up litter, pulls weeds, writes senior greetings cards, and participates in the Random Acts of Kindness and Dress for Success programs.
His volunteer efforts have grown dramatically over the past two years, both due to his affiliation with Besa and the impact of COVID-19, social justice and other current issues. “I have a lot more gratitude for my time, my health and my support system. I’m more focused on giving back. I spend less time on social media and things that don’t really matter, and more time on productive things, ”Wilson says.
Racial equity concerns prompted Wilson to become active in voter registration and election day activities for the first time last year. “I am a firm believer in the importance of voting and participating in our democracy and I want to continue doing my part to encourage others to get involved and vote,” said Wilson, who plans to volunteer every year. .
Voters’ volunteer efforts also provided the opportunity to engage in person after more than a year of virtual events. “It’s nice to reappear,” said Wilson, who collected coats for Goodwill at the Columbus Marathon in October. She enjoys being physically present when possible so that she can meet the people she serves and those who roll up their sleeves by her side. “I appreciate how hard everyone around me is working. It’s really inspiring to see people come together on their own. It’s also humiliating to see people who are busier than me, who have more commitments, take the time.
Wilson turned to volunteer projects that produce tangible results that she can witness first-hand. “I’m a numbers person and I love to see where I’m making an impact. She also exercised her creative muscle by writing notes and cooking.
“I always thought if I could only give an hour or two it wouldn’t matter, but small actions really matter. Sometimes it’s just a conversation with someone, trying to get their point across and make them feel like someone is hearing it.
“I always thought if I could only give an hour or two it wouldn’t matter, but small actions really matter.”
This story is taken from issue 2022 of Giving, a supplement of Monthly Columbus and CEO of Columbus.