There are countless UCrew volunteer opportunities that some of United Supermarkets' 6,500 employees participate in each year. These include national fund-raisers like the March of Dimes, simple civic-related activities like painting park benches or supporting local schools, and serving meals on wheels to senior citizens. Since UCrew's inception 17 months ago, members have donated more the 8,100 hours of their time to these various philanthropic efforts in order to improve their communities. Here is what some United employees had to say about the UCrew experience.
Trish Hughes, 48
RIS department manager, Lubbock
No. of years with United: 24
Volunteer projects: Half Iron-Man Triathlon; CASA benefit; Habitat for Humanity; Diabetes Walk
Volunteer hours: 20
What did you learn? That groups of people can get a lot accomplished together.
What does UCrew mean to you? It give us an opportunity to volunteer as a group rather than as an individual. It spurs you on to volunteer if you can do it with co-workers rather than being left on your own.
Julio Martinez, 22
Front-end manager, Abilene
No. of years with United: 6
Volunteer projects: Celebrate Abilene, a civic event; March of Dimes Walk America; citywide golf tournament
Volunteer hours: 33
What did you learn? You get to meet all kinds of other people, and we get our names out there. You are working, but it’s for a good cause.
What does UCrew mean to you? A group of people that works together and accomplishes whatever needs to get accomplished. People volunteer without being asked, and when it gets to that point, that’s when people enjoy doing it. We work together, and we have fun. I can’t think of any activity that I’ve volunteered for that I haven’t had a blast.
Jessica Schwertner, 20
Customer service clerk, Wichita Falls
No. of years with United: 4
Volunteer projects: MS Walk; Relay for Life (American Cancer Society); March of Dimes Walk America
Volunteer hours: 10
What did you learn? It makes me see other things, and gives me a broader perspective that there are people out there that need help. It gets your mind off the everyday things, and it allows me to see the bigger picture.
What does UCrew mean to you? A team working together. In every organization like United, you can’t have your workers out there alone to have it work. You have to get together and do it. UCrew is a way of doing that, and it makes for a better atmosphere for the customers, too.
Sidney Hopper, 39
District manager, Amarillo
No. of years with United: 17
Volunteer projects: golf tournament; Habitat for Humanity
What did you learn? It’s a great way for employees to spend time together outside the stores, and it makes the team members back at the store level stronger. They [United employees] are outside of work, and have a common interest. It’s an opportunity to develop relationships outside of work and the grocery store business.
What does UCrew mean to you? Caring. That’s the biggest feedback. United has always been involved in giving back to the community, and this is an organized way of doing it. We see the UCrew shirts out there, and we’re excited and thankful we can spend time out in the community.
Theron Baker, 34
Store director, Borger
No. of years with United: 17
Volunteer projects: Kid’s Day America; Relay for Life; MS Walk; repainting kids’ park; car wash fund-raisers
What did you learn? Getting to know people. Knowing that by getting involved in the community, we are helping as much as we can. Also, it gets our organization’s name out there. We are building relationships not only with the community, but with our employees as well.
What does UCrew mean to you? Gives me a lot of pride knowing we are out there working to build the community.