Above and Beyond: An Extra Effort for Our Hungry Neighbors

May 14, 2014 By: Sara Blair Category: WordPress Import

Ask someone why they volunteer, and most people respond: “to help others.” Ask Ed Keeling why he volunteers, and you’ll get a much more profound answer. According to Ed, associate director of member experience with UnitedHealthcare Medicare and Retirement, he volunteers not only to help others, but to help himself, his family and his relationships with colleagues.

“Volunteering helps me stay grounded—not only in my personal life, but also in my job. It allows me to get closer with those I work with,” said Ed.

True to form, Ed’s favorite volunteer events with Second Harvest Heartland are those where he gets to work directly with other people—from packing food to talking to someone in need on the phone.

“I love volunteering for the UnitedHealthcare senior hunger radiothon, where you actually hear someone in need tell you their tale. We complain when our phones aren’t working or when our Internet goes down, and you don’t realize some people may be taking cold showers or can’t find a hot meal. It reminds me of how lucky I am,” said Ed.

Volunteering also preserves Ed’s gratitude at home, alongside his wife and daughter. “At the end of the day, giving back can make you feel 100 percent on top of the world. It’s one of those things you can’t fake—it’s an emotional state where you can hold your head up high. That is my driving force,” said Ed.

Ed and his wife are passing along the spirit of giving to their young daughter. “We make it a family affair,” said Ed. “Little by little, we expose her to different experiences and to problems that other people face. She’s really starting to latch on to the idea of sharing and caring. Watching her emotional states and giving back to others when she sees their need—that makes it all worth it.”


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