Long before terms like corporate social responsibility and employee engagement were buzzwords in business, Sherard Parker was coordinating volunteer efforts for his co-workers. For the last 20 years, he has organized dozens of activities for his fellow work associates and church family to give back to the community and to foster strong interpersonal relationships.
“There’s something special about working together for a common goal outside of day-to-day interactions,” says Sherard, New Business Development Manager for Walmart Specialty Pharmacy.
At each volunteer shift, his team would sort through food donated by grocery and warehouse stores, like Walmart and Sam’s Club, but also from farmers, food manufacturers and community food drives. The associates would work as a team to check for expiration dates and nutrition labels, remove damaged items and pack donations into emergency food boxes.
During volunteer shifts, Sherard met several families volunteering together at Second Harvest. He also learned from his co-workers that many of their children needed to accumulate community service hours for school and scholarship application requirements. One day he began reaching out to his fellow associates about an upcoming volunteer day and he added three small words, “Bring your kids.”
By extending the circle of community service to include middle and high school youth, he is helping his community in more ways than one. By being a spark, Sherard is able to ignite others and inspire them to be part of something bigger than themselves, and our community is better for it.
When asked why he continues to volunteer, again and again, Sherard says, “I believe that no one should go to bed or spend the day hungry. I feel a personal responsibility to ensure no one goes without.”
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