CENT is known for giving back to the community as an organization.  Recently we decided to kick things up a notch by encouraging all of our team members to get involved on a personal level.  We designated the month of August as #CENTsationalServiceinAction Month, created some special CENT Volunteer t-shirts, and got to work.

To begin, we needed a goal.  We wanted it it be something that would be difficult but achievable for a staff of our size to accomplish, and we decided that 100 hours (about five hours per person) would be enough to make an impact.

As our partners in organizing this large effort, we received scheduling and liaison assistance from the Mason City Volunteer Center.  They helped connect us to Meals on Wheels, Community Kitchen of North Iowa, and IOOF Home and Community Center.  Team members were also encouraged to chase their own interests, and wound up helping a wide array of organizations like Our Loving Children, My Happy Haven, Humane Society of North Iowa, Mason City Youth Baseball, Mason City Parks and Recreation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Iowa Credit Union League, Community Policing Advisory Board, West Ridge Care Center, Newman Catholic Schools, and several more.

While we set out to have an impact on the community, we quickly learned that this volunteer effort has had an even bigger impact on us.  Stay tuned for some of the incredible stories we’ve been a part of.

Oh, and about that 100-hour goal?  In the end, it was far too conservative.  Not including the hours put in by our team members’ families (who helped significantly in this effort), our amazing team combined to contribute well over 200 hours to our community!

Forward from here, we’ve realized that volunteering begets a love of volunteering.  Just because CENTsationalServiceinAction Month is over, doesn’t mean you’ve seen the last of our “blueshirts” out in the community.  This had a profound impact on all of our hearts.

Please take a moment to see some of the memories from this amazing month: