FFAA Volunteer Challenge

(Pictured Left to Right) Jude Olsen, Gary VanAuken, Nicholaus Roberts, Scott Duran, and Brian Hamilton- Maple Lane Volunteer Award

The Facilities, Finance and Analytics Administration redefined what it looked like to support the Combined Fund Drive in the 2021 campaign season.

Yes, the staff still held their talent shows and bid on baskets and participated in fun activities to raise much-needed monetary support for charity, but Judy Fitzgerald took a fresh look at how their staff could make a difference. Rather than setting a standard financial goal (frankly, we’d expect nothing else from the Administration with “Finance” in their title), Judy challenged every staff member in FFAA to volunteer one hour in support of a charity of their choice.

From November 1 through December 17, all FFAA divisions struck out as competing teams with the ambitious goal of logging one volunteer hour per staff member with one of the more than 4,000 charities listed on the CFD website. At the time, the FFAA had 944 employees. That amounts to a goal of almost 1,000 volunteer hours in 6 weeks.

Let’s compare that to last year just to demonstrate how astronomical that initial goal was. As an agency, DSHS logged a total of 427 volunteer hours over the course of a year in 2020. That was accumulated by a group of 16,142 employees.

Yeah. FFAA goes all out.

But as the holiday season passed, FFAA employees surprised us all by how much of their nights, weekends, and sanctioned work time they spent organizing CFD events, collecting bicycles for Toys for Tots, assembling relief kits for refugees, giving blood, cleaning the grounds of homeless shelters, serving meals in soup kitchens, delivering canned goods to food banks, knitting blankets for animal shelters, coaching, counselling, serving on boards for colleges, parks, sport clubs, and so much more.

The volunteer hours started rolling in and by December 17, FFAA had logged 246 volunteer hours with 28 different charities throughout the state of Washington. Let’s not forget that there are almost certainly employees who gave back to the community during the challenge, not to mention the rest of the 2021 calendar year, and didn’t get around to documenting their volunteer efforts for us to track.

Special recognition for this tremendous accomplishment goes out to:

  • The Research & Data Analysis (RDA) Division, who logged a whopping 60 hours of volunteer time between their 110 staff.
  • The Maintenance & Operations Division’s Maple Lane facility in Centralia, who had the highest percentage of hours per staff: 20 hours served by only 9 employees.
  • Hakan Axelsson, our CFD MVP who logged 30 hours during the challenge.
  • Honorable mention goes to Nicholaus Roberts with 20 volunteer hours and Linda Weaver with 15 volunteer hours!
Hakan Axelsson holding RDA Volunteer Award

Competitive activities can sometimes leave people feeling deflated if they don’t finish first. But in this case, you can’t help feeling like a winner when you look back and observe the sheer force of good will generated by just one administration that was trying to bring “Unity to the Community” (the theme of the CFD 2021 Campaign).

Thank you DSHS Volunteers! You’ve shown us how to make our mission of Transforming Lives a way of life!

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