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GivingTuesday: Cardinal Health recognizes volunteers of the year

This GivingTuesday, we’re proud to celebrate the generosity of our employees around the globe who give back to the communities where we live and work. “We empower our employees to make a difference in their communities – and they do,” said Jessie Cannon, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “In addition to financial donations, they invest their time, talent and expertise in supporting countless charitable organizations.”

In fiscal 2023, Cardinal Health employees logged more than 54,600 hours of volunteer service. According to Independent Sector, each hour of volunteer service has a monetary value of $31.80 – meaning that our employees’ collective volunteer service had a $1.7M impact.

What’s more, “our volunteers tell us they gain as much as they give through their community service,” Cannon said. “They feel a greater level of engagement both inside and outside of work, and find lots of opportunities to develop new skills, meet new people and build strong connections throughout the community.”

Recently, Cardinal Health named its top volunteers for fiscal 2023 – those who logged the most hours of service. Together, these four employees gave more than 2,600 hours in supporting charitable organizations. “We’re grateful to all our volunteers,” Cannon said. “Today, we are particularly proud to shine a light on our Volunteer of the Year and several runners-up. On behalf of Cardinal Health, I thank each of them for their outstanding commitment to giving back.”

Here are highlights of these outstanding volunteers and the causes they’re most passionate about.

Danny Peterson, data analyst, global supply chain reporting, Columbus, Ohio: 1,000+ hours of volunteer service

Danny Peterson and his wife live in a diverse Columbus neighborhood known as the Hilltop, located just a few miles west of downtown. The Hilltop is a historic residential section that is currently undergoing urban renewal.

The Petersons were attracted by the affordable housing in the area when they moved in nine years ago. “But it is the community that keeps us here,” Peterson said. “People here are very proud of the Hilltop, and eager to work together to make it better.” He joined in, becoming involved in the Hilltop Arts Collective, which hosts an annual free, family-friendly arts and culture festival, supports arts mentoring programs for area high school students, and supports the installation of public art, including murals and sculptures, throughout the neighborhood.

Peterson is now chair of the Hilltop Arts Collective, an all-volunteer organization. “There’s always more to be done than we can accomplish as volunteers,” he said. “But we’re driven by the impact that the arts are making in our community – as well as our neighbors’ response to our work. For those of us who live here, the Hilltop is a very special place.”

Wilda Ferch, senior specialist, customer engagement, Bakersfield, California: 600+ hours of volunteer service

Most of Wilda Ferch’s volunteer hours are devoted to a parents’ group at her children’s private school. Called #Parentsquad, the group raises money for the school’s athletics programs, prepares and serves meals to the teams after the games, and chaperones the teams during away games. Ferch is the volunteer leader for the group; her husband, an alumnus of the school, volunteers, as well.

“The school has a flag football season, a volleyball season and a basketball season,” she explains. “We literally don’t get a break until summer; throughout the school year our lives consist of work and the kids’ games.”

Ferch created the logo for athletic department sweatshirts, and sells the merchandise to raise money for the school. “It’s great to see all the parents and kids in their school colors when we travel to away games,” she said.

“We got involved with #Parentsquad when my older son, now a freshman in college, began high school. He now frequently joins us as a volunteer. My younger son is a senior in high school, and my daughter is still in junior high – so we have a few more years to go. It’s sort of our life, and we find it very fulfilling.”

Rick Hurley, IT manager in Global Technology and Business Services, Central Ohio: 500+ hours of volunteer service

Rick Hurley serves on the board of directors of Willow Ridge Therapeutic Riding Facility, which provides equine-assisted therapy for children with special needs. His older son, who has autism spectrum disorder, was a student there for many years. (Now graduated from high school and an Eagle Scout, Hurley’s son volunteers at Willow Ridge once a week.) “The Cardinal Health Foundation Leadership Grants, which help fund the nonprofits whose boards Cardinal Health employees serve on, have been helpful to the growth of this nonprofit – which aims to provide services to children regardless of their economic situations,” he said.

Hurley also is a past Scoutmaster and current unit committee chairman of Boy Scouts Troop 185 (which his sons belonged to) and Troop 581, a girls’ unit. He’s a booster for his younger son’s school marching band, and a musician who occasionally performs to raise money for various causes.

“Volunteering is rewarding – you feel like you’re really doing something to support your community,” Hurley said. “And volunteering with your kids is a great way to help ensure they grow up with lots of good experiences, as well as a deep interest in giving back themselves.”

Kim Naumann, product systems analysis consultant, St. Louis, Missouri: 500+ hours of volunteer service

Kim Naumann, who lives and works in O’Fallon, Missouri, just west of St. Louis, serves as the volunteer president for the St. Charles, Missouri, Sister Cities program. The program’s mission is to implement programs that foster mutual understanding, friendship, and goodwill through cultural, social, business and educational exchanges between St. Charles and its sister cities, Ludwigsburg, Germany, and Inishowen, Ireland. Among other programs, Sister Cities sponsors high school exchange students and student visits to the sister cities.

Naumann also volunteers with Susan G. Komen in St. Louis, an organization that raises money for breast cancer research and supports patient navigation and advocacy. She managed the local organization’s website for many years, and continues her involvement by organizing and chairing fundraisers. “All the women in my family have been impacted by breast cancer,” she said. “As I’m supporting Susan G. Komen, I’m fighting for the health of my daughter, my granddaughter and myself.”

She supports her granddaughter’s Girl Scout troop, too. “It’s a great way to spend time with my granddaughter and give back at the same time,” she said.

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