“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” ~Elizabeth Andrew
In today’s world, everyone is busy and everything seems to be rushing past us. There are just not enough hours in the day to get things done. But for some people, the drive to help others is strong and they take the time to make a difference in their community. Here at First Keystone Community Bank, the employees wear a variety of hats, not only at work, but in the communities where they work and play. Today, in honor of National Volunteer Week, we would like to highlight a few of our employees and the important work they do for others.
Stacia Arnaud – Commercial Lender in the Wyoming Valley
Whether it’s collecting items for the local food pantry, speaking at the Wilkes-Barre Junior Leadership Governmental Program, or aiding small businesses in financing a project, Stacia is always willing to help and do whatever it takes to make her community a better place. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Osterhout Library, the Loan Committee Board for the NEPA Alliance, the Youth Aid Panel for Luzerne County’s Juvenile Justice Program, acts as a member of the selection committee for Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre, and she is a member of three local Chambers of Commerce (the Greater Wilkes-Barre, Greater Pittston, and Back Mountain Chambers of Commerce.) Through these organizations, Stacia volunteers her time in numerous ways that allow her to lend a helping hand to the businesses, families and youth in her region.
Steve Kotch – Special Assets Officer in Columbia County
Being a lifelong resident of Nanticoke, Steve Kotch volunteers to give back to his community and neighbors. He has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Pioneer Hook & Ladder Co. No.1 for 37 years and has assisted with many emergencies, including fires, accidents, medical calls, and flooded roadways. His dedication and commitment to the company have helped create bonds with his fellow firefighters and the residents of the Nanticoke area.
Steve also serves as a volunteer for the Quality Hill Playground in Nanticoke, a place he has played and visited for as long as he can remember. As he grew up in that neighborhood, he watched the local men and women take care of the park so that he and his friends had a place to play and have fun. Now, Steve feels it’s his turn to give back and carry on with the spirit of those who provided for him in his youth. On any given day, he helps with general maintenance, grounds keeping, children’s events, and fundraising.
Amanda Jarski – Credit Analyst in Columbia County
Amanda has been the Collegiate Chapter Director (CCD) for the Iota Theta Chapter at Mansfield University for the Delta Zeta Sorority for over five years. As a member of the sorority, she had a genuine and selfless advisor who inspired her throughout her college career. Now, Amanda wants to help others in that same fashion. She works with the Chapter and Advisory Board to help guide the sorority in a multitude of ways. She also advises young college-aged women on their professional and personal development.
Amanda has also started a successful program called “Couponing Makes Sense.” For the past six years, she has hosted classes that teach people how to save money using retail coupons. She also does couponing for the greater good, using extreme couponing techniques to donate items to local food banks and non-profits.
Connie Strohl – Teller in the Pocono Region
Connie is a volunteer and treasurer for the “Operation: Touch of Home” organization. This group, based out of Monroe County, supports our local hometown military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hostile areas around the world by sending them ‘a touch of home’ through thoughtful and creative care packages. Connie initially became involved with the organization due to having family members in the military. Her greatest reward in working with “Operation: Touch of Home” comes with meeting some of the recipients of their care packages. (To learn more about this organization, please visit their website, www.operationtouchofhome.org.)
Kathy Jarski – Branch Manager of the Salem Township Office
Even in today’s Coronavirus climate, we have employees who are donating time and materials to a worthy cause. Branch Manager Kathy Jarski is working with a group of women who call themselves “The Mask Connection” by sewing fabric face masks which are donated to area hospitals, nursing homes, home health care workers, grocery store clerks, truck drivers, and many other essential employees in the region. As of April 11, they have made and donated over 2,500 masks within our local community. Many of our FKCB employees have also pitched in to collect and donate supplies to the Mask Connection to aid in their efforts. It’s a big task, but they’re up to it!
We also have many employees who are helping their families and neighbors by running errands, sharing supplies with local food banks, making meals for people who don’t have the means to prepare their own meals, and exhibiting an outpouring of empathy and concern for one another during this trying time.
And that’s just the beginning of volunteerism at First Keystone. We have numerous employees who volunteer time for a wide variety of causes, including: working to help single mothers through S.M.I.L.E., taking service dogs to local hospitals, children’s sporting teams, veterans’ groups, local parade committees, local United Way chapters, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, fire departments, local churches, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, and other civic clubs. Our employees are dedicated to making a difference in their community.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many organizations in your area that can use assistance from volunteers. They need you today, but tomorrow, you may need them. We’d love to hear about the ways you volunteer in your community in the comment section below!