I currently work at the Mayo Clinic in the cancer unit. Every year, Mayo does a clinic-wide giving campaign with the United Way, and I helped collect contributions and sort them out into piles that would then be distributed to families in need. We spent two long Saturday shifts collecting, cleaning and organizing donations from people in the area to get them ready to distribute back out. It was a truly rewarding experience to see all the same people again as we donated what we as a work unit raised on behalf of those in need. After this campaign with Mayo Clinic, I realized how large the need was for many, many more donations, and I took volunteering one step further to make even more of a difference.

I am currently enrolled in the Counseling Education Masters program through WSU. This year we were assigned to pick a foundation to do an advocacy project for and do a few hours of community service with the organization before conducting the project itself. My experience with Mayo Clinic led me to put together fundraising opportunities at my daily work place for co-workers to donate money, children’s books and non-perishable food items that would go directly towards the United Way. Currently, I have raised over $250, 27 children’s books and over 75 food items and counting. I enjoyed this experience and getting my work unit involved as well. It is nice to take time out of my busy life and help people that are in need and can’t always help themselves. I could see myself doing this same experience yearly with my work group around the holiday season.

-Danielle Sommerfeldt