VolunteerMatch’s Maura Koehler-Hanlon Recognized for Her Outstanding Service

maura_wfpRecognizing the work of outstanding volunteers is such a big part of what we do: You can imagine how proud we are to honor one of our very own!

This month Maura Koehler-Hanlon, a client relations manager on our Corporate Solutions team (pictured at middle), learned that she and two other local volunteers for Friends of the United Nations World Food Program (Friends of WFP) will receive the George McGovern Leadership Award: Uniting to End World Hunger on Capitol Hill in October.

Within the VolunteerMatch ecosystem, Maura is best known for her work helping companies administer their volunteer programs and successfully connect employees to volunteer opportunities. But even many of her day-to-day contacts were unaware of the commitment Maura has been making to Friends of WFP.

Helping to End World Hunger

Formed in 1995, Friends of WFP is a U.S.-based nonprofit that supports the United Nations World Food Program’s life-saving global food programs through education, advocacy and fundraising efforts. In 2008, Friends of WFP formed a committee program and invited volunteers at the grassroots level to organize local events to help alleviate global hunger and poverty.

Since then Maura and fellow honorees Julia Feldman and Alejandra Navarro have organized several successful events, including an art auction fundraiser that brought over 200 people together to raise $10,000 for Friends of WFP. The committee has also partnered with local Starbucks outlets to raise funds for WFP’s School Meals program.

We asked Maura what drives her involvement in Friends of WFP’s activities.

“The World Food Program treats hunger with a thoughtful slant,” she said, citing the School Meals program as an example. “It provides meals to children in school, but it also helps school retention rates because students are guaranteed at least one square meal a day. With that program alone, WFP is addressing two critical needs: hunger and education.”

To celebrate the work that Maura and the rest of the San Francisco committee have accomplished, Friends of WFP will award the group its inaugural Outstanding Service Award at their annual gathering in Washington, D.C. in October.

Employee Volunteer Programs Help Our Communities

To assist her in her volunteering, Maura has been taking advantage of VolunteerMatch’s employee volunteer program to get eight hours of paid time off each month for her service.

For us, being able offer this important but often overlooked benefit is a no-brainer. Employees feel supported for who they are and what they’re passionate about; community organizations win by getting more time from volunteers; and employers (like us) can demonstrate our commitment to corporate social responsibility in an authentic and impactful way.

Do you have any employee volunteers serving in your organization right now? How is coordinating an employee volunteers different from other volunteers? Share your experiences with others here.