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
Take Susan Glass, CTP, finance manager with Hallmark Cards, Inc. in
Kansas City, Mo. While working for one of the world’s 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
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
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. We’re 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
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 AFP’s Annual
Conference each year.
AFP: What activities does Hallmark participate in?
Glass: Caring and responsible corporate citizenship for Kansas City is
one of Hallmark’s 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 children’s 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.