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Volunteers of America Mid-States receives Gold Award at 2017 Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville Annual Conference

Last spring, Volunteers of America’s Vice President of Human Resources Teresa Roberts proudly accepted a Gold Award on behalf of our Wellness Initiative Group at the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville’s Annual Conference and Awards Conference.

Originally formed by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville focuses on providing employers with educational activities and resources to develop and grow wellness programs. Each year, the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville recognizes organizations, such as Volunteers of America Mid-States, for their exceptional commitment to employee well-being, integration of wellness into its workplace culture, and exemplary leadership in managing employee benefits.

Volunteers of America was honored for a program we have been developing since 2015. During the past year and a half, our staff partnered with Spalding University, University of Kentucky and The Wellness Group ETC. to form the Wellness Initiative Group to address the issue of workplace wellness and promote self-care. Former board member and long-term supporter Patricia Cummings has been particularly instrumental in promoting self-care programs, donating $5,000 toward scholarships that focus on wellness for Volunteers of America employees. Volunteers of America matched the award, creating a $10,000 scholarship fund.

Today, the scholarship program, which allows employees to apply for grants relating to activities that promote self-care, is going strong.

“One of the things that’s very interesting about self-care is that your plan can look very different from my plan,” Teresa said. “We’ve given out 21 scholarships so far and they range from gym memberships to personal trainers, pedicures and manicures, massages, FitBits and even video games.”

Teresa highlighted innovative scholarship proposals. One employee used the grant to purchase a bracelet-making kit. That employee not only enjoyed making the bracelet, but also the satisfaction and joy of giving the bracelet to loved ones and clients. Another employee took advantage of the scholarship by purchasing a zoo membership to enjoy an activity with family all year long.

“Because we understand people are working so hard and many of our employees are not only caregivers at work but also caregivers at home, just being able to let them know that we understand and care about them and appreciate them is a simple and important way to say thanks,” Teresa added.