United States

Caring for our communities: RSM US Volunteer Day 2018

ARTICLE

Stewardship, or leaving things better than we found them, has been one of RSM’s core values since our firm was founded in 1926. And in that spirit of stewardship, each year, RSM’s people from across the country take time to give back to their local communities through the firm’s annual Volunteer Day. RSM’s Sara Nowacki, total rewards senior director, and Heather Rudnicki, operations manager, national learning & professional development, recently shared their experiences leading one project as a part of a larger effort for our Minneapolis office’s volunteer activities. More than 260 participants from the office worked together to give a local elementary school a makeover – both outside and inside – during our ninth annual RSM US Volunteer Day. Read what they had to say:

Sara: This year our Minneapolis office took a day away from our usual jobs to give a local elementary school some TLC.  I, along with my “partner in crime” Heather, lead one of the many projects happening concurrently that day. Our team of 30 set out to transform a drab, cluttered space into an inviting, vibrant early childhood development testing room.

Heather: Sara and I visited the school a few times before we began, made a plan and gathered materials. Then on Volunteer Day, we hit the ground running and relied on the enthusiasm and participation of our team. It was incredibly exciting to be a leader for this project, but the success was thanks to a total group effort.

Sara: I even enlisted the help of my family! During our site visits, we realized that we would have to work around many obstacles. The area was congested, had high walls, and since we were bringing much of our own equipment, we had to get creative. My husband provided us with scaffolding, and I enlisted the help of my two teenage boys. They were excited to pitch in, and it was a great bonding experience to connect my work family and actual family on such an impactful day.

Heather: The area we worked on is a multi-purpose room with office space, waiting areas for families and a space for childhood development testing. Since we only had one day, we focused on what would make the biggest impact. We decided to paint all the walls and add fun decals with Dr. Seuss quotes and pictures showing diversity and inclusion. We also realized little touches could make a big difference, so we rearranged, organized, cleaned and added some additional toys and coloring books. Throughout the day, faculty stopped by, and could not believe the transformation. They were so thankful!

Sara: It was hard work, but the experience was a lot of fun and extremely rewarding. I was so impressed with the camaraderie on our team. Everyone was so excited to be there and truly enjoyed themselves. Everyone went above-and-beyond, and kept asking how they could help and what more they could do. Everywhere I looked, I saw smiles from the team, which was a testament to how good it felt to give back together. It was also a great way to meet people we don’t normally interact with in our various professional roles. Now, when we see each other around the office, we say, “Hello,” and talk about that awesome day. The experience connected us in a meaningful way.

Heather: It was a full day of giving back to our community, networking and building relationships. I find it so cool to work for a firm that places such high value on stewardship and connectivity. They are more than just words that we place on our website; we truly live out our values.

To learn more about RSM’s 2018 Volunteer Day efforts, read our news release.

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