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This Finance Manager is AFPAware

  • By Ira Apfel
  • Published: 2011-08-04

As part of its AFPAware campaign, now entering its fourth year, AFP consciously partners with organizations committed to corporate and social responsibility. AFP members also are AFPAware—on an individual basis.

Take Susan Glass, CTP, finance manager with Hallmark Cards, Inc. in Kansas City, Mo. While working for one of the worlds most recognizable retailers, Glass still finds time to give back to her community.

AFP recently spoke with Glass:

AFP: What community service activities do you perform, or have performed, recently?

Susan Glass: I volunteer by contributing to United Way, donating blood, and filling backpacks with weekend food for those local children who might otherwise go hungry. I have also worked at a Special Olympics bowling tournament each of the past three years.  These volunteer opportunities are made possible through Hallmark’s volunteer program, making it easy to volunteer or donate during the work day.

AFP: What did you have to do while taking part in these efforts?

Glass: Remarkable athletes participate in the Special Olympics bowling tournament. Some, however, require assistance in handling a bowling ball or getting positioned to roll the ball. Volunteers are there to not only provide that assistance, but to also celebrate the success of each athlete. I have very much enjoyed this personal interaction with the athletes.

AFP: Why did you choose these particular efforts?

Glass: I believe that, while my background and circumstances have influenced who I am, those I have engaged with through volunteer opportunities have shaped who I have become. I strive to teach, to influence, to motivate, and to lead others in a manner that positively influences lives and communities for the good. In doing so, my life has been so greatly enriched. By the athletes with whom I have worked or the homeless I have helped to provide meal service. Each experience is unique. Each is meaningful. While the athletes may celebrate accomplishments through impromptu dances or the offering of hugs, the homeless at times offer minimal, but just as impactful, interaction.

AFP: What intrigued you about the AFPAware event in Boston that motivated you to sign up four months early?

Glass: I have benefited by participating in each of the AFPAware events, the first being at the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles. The Mission offers the homeless and those having substance abuse a bridge to self-sufficiency. The scene there was not one I had any familiarity with, and the experience at times was most surreal. One gentleman at the shelter having tremendous impact on me was in his first thirty days of recovery from substance abuse. He lay on a top bunk in a darkened room. Our eyes locked as I looked at him. I spoke quietly, telling him to take care. He offered a nod, and said, “Yeah, you too.”  A simple acknowledgement carrying such a strong reminder. Were all just people striving to do the best we can. Nearly four years after that experience, I continue to look at the homeless through a softer, kinder, more understanding lens.

The AFPAware events held in San Francisco and San Antonio offered me unique experiences as well. I have sorted donations of clothes by size and season, I have made breakfast for youth, and I have helped to frame a large shed. I so appreciate the event sponsors and the opportunity they provide to assist those in need in the communities that welcome AFPs Annual Conference each year.

AFP: What activities does Hallmark participate in?

Glass: Caring and responsible corporate citizenship for Kansas City is one of Hallmarks core beliefs and values. Enriching lives is our business and our passion. In as much as I try to make a positive difference in the lives of others, I believe I have been more greatly enriched through the experiences.

Learn more about AFPAware and AFPAwareactivities at the 2011 AFP Annual Conference in Boston, November 6-9.

Register to participate in AFPAware in Boston.

Unable to volunteer in Boston, but want to give back? Consider donating new or gently used childrens items (clothes, books, toys, etc.) to C2C. Contact AFPAware to learn more about the top 10 most needed items. Donation bins will be available in the Exhibit Hall. 

 

How are you giving back? Send your story to AFPAware@AFPonline.org. 

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All rights reserved.

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