Volunteerism, Work and Mixing the Two: A Distributor Shares Her Story
After my blog a few weeks back about Jay Deutsch’s charity work and giving, reader Jane Nelson-Halverson, owner of Dakota Promotions & Printing, Bismarck, North Dakota, left a comment about her own work for a similar cause. I decided to interview her about her experiences, partially because they’re so admirable and emotionally gripping, but also because she mentioned she does promotional work for the charity she volunteers at, which I thought raised a couple interesting and worthwhile business questions. (“Is it hard promoting something so serious?” “How do you separate the personal and professional sides of things when you’re selling to a charity you also volunteer at?” etc.) Our conversation, carried out through email, is reproduced below.
Promo Marketing: How did you first start volunteering for the Abused Adult Resource Center (AARC)?
Jane Nelson-Halverson: I’ve been volunteering for them for so long, I don’t really remember exactly how I got started. I must have responded to a volunteer request, but it was somewhat of a self-healing ambition. I had an abusive relationship back in the ’80s, but never sought help. It wasn’t really the thing to do back then, so I just moved on with my life as a single mom. But, enough crying. My first volunteer job was working in their thrift store, Seeds of Hope, back around 1995. I remember it was a bitter cold winter day in North Dakota. I had a 20 mile drive into Bismarck to work on a Saturday morning and the store was FREEZING! They turned the heat way down at night to conserve. Not a dream job at all, but I always knew I would give back somehow—my grandmother was a volunteer and sometimes she let me help her at the hospital when I was young. When I was on my own, I told her I felt bad when I was asked but couldn’t volunteer (when my children were small). She told me that one day I would be able, so with her spirit, I do what I can.