Engaging the Community: Engage Coordinator

group of people at a food pantry

November 29, 2021

The Interstates Foundation’s Engage program was launched in 2021 to help our team members engage with causes in their communities. This blog series introduces the program, the roles that make this project successful, and the people positively impacting their communities by engaging. Learn about one of these projects here. Discover how the Interstates Foundation is helping grow these efforts.

Read on to discover how Engage Coordinator Jessica Regnerus helped launch the program to help people explore their passions through service.

Tell us about Engage. What’s the program all about?

Engage is a company-wide endeavor that enables our team members to live out Interstates’ core values through service projects and partnerships with local organizations. We want people to suggest and help coordinate projects that align with their passions. Whether they’re in an office or on a job site, there are always opportunities for service and engagement. A really neat part of this program is that it also helps our team members build relationships with each other through service projects.

When was the Engage program created?

This program has been in the works for a while. It was supposed to kick off in early 2020, but then COVID-19 hit, and the idea of gathering wasn’t exactly encouraged! We officially launched Engage in May 2021, with our first projects taking place in June.

What role does the Engage Coordinator play?

Currently, I coordinate all the projects and ideas we have floating around, but ideally, in the future, most of our projects will come from team member suggestions, and they can take more ownership over coordinating. My goal is to be a resource for team members who want to lead their own projects, helping to facilitate and organize behind the scenes.

What are some of the projects Engage has facilitated so far?

We’ve done so many projects already! We had initially planned for 8-12 projects per year, but we did that in the first six months. Some examples include volunteering at the Hope Food Pantry in Sioux Center, IA, Zestos resource center in Alton, IA, and Feeding South Dakota in Sioux Falls, IA; partnering with the Sioux Center Community School District to update the maker space in their intermediate school; and making blankets for the Ronald McDonald House. We’ve also had great employee suggestions like volunteering at the Humane Society and participating in the Rake the Town project in Sioux Falls, where volunteers rake the yards of elderly and disabled homeowners.

What do people find rewarding about the Engage program?

Personally, it’s a unique opportunity for me to see what our team members are passionate about and learn about different causes. It’s also eye-opening to see the needs right here in our community. I think this program has the ability to help team members feel connected to their communities on a deeper level, and it can reveal shared passions and purposes among each other. We have 13 different offices now, but Engage can make that feel smaller by letting you serve with your coworkers on the projects that matter most.

What’s the future of the program? How would you encourage others to get involved in their community?

We would love to have more team-member-suggested projects per year in addition to our Interstates Foundation’s ideas. I’d encourage everyone to look around – what need do you see? What can you do to impact your community no matter where you are? One thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay to have your passion be about one thing, not everything because we all have different interests and skills. We can all make a difference right where we are, just as we are.

If you have questions about this program, email foundation@interstates.com.