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Roots to Wings is an example of OPPD employee volunteer effort

August 12, 2019 | Jamie Wagner | community, powerful life
OPPD employee volunteer, Tyler Christensen, left, of OPPD with participants in Roots to Wings inside the organization's store in Arlington, Neb.

OPPD employees are helping the utility determine where to allocate sponsorship dollars.

A new program, called GIVE, debuted in June, in conjunction with the utility’s new volunteer time off policy. GIVE stands for Get Involved, Volunteer your time and Engage your peers. The programs embody the utility’s core value of honoring the communities they serve.

Each year, as part of GIVE, OPPD will support up to 20 nonprofits in its 13-county service territory with a $500 sponsorship. Awards are based on employee nominations and applicable criteria.

Early recipient

Roots to Wings in Arlington, Neb., is one of the first GIVE sponsorship recipients. The nonprofit provides authentic life experiences for individuals living with a disability.

Farmer Anthony and Volunteers RTW

Once accepted into Roots to Wings, candidates become “farmers.” They take on a variety of responsibilities, including tending to their community garden, running the store’s cash register, making goods to sell, and other skills that help them move toward their individual goals.

Roots to Wings sells crops grown in their garden at local farmer’s markets and community events, along with handmade and consigned goods. Business professionals and community volunteers work with the farmers to help them meet their goals. Farmers earn gift cards as a form of payment for their work at Roots to Wings.

Tyler Christensen, who works in Substation Operations at OPPD’s Elkhorn Service Center, has worked with Roots to Wings for nearly two years. Christensen creates items for the farmers to sell in their store.

After hearing about the GIVE program, Tyler submitted an application on behalf of Roots to Wings. OPPD awarded the organization with one of the $500 sponsorships.

In addition to Roots to Wings, OPPD has awarded GIVE sponsorships to Keep Nebraska City Beautiful and FitGirl, Inc.

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About Jamie Wagner

Jamie Wagner joined OPPD as a Community Relations Project Manager in November 2018. Her focus is engaging members of the community and increasing awareness and reach of OPPD’s outreach efforts. Jamie thoroughly enjoys live music with her husband and occasionally drags her kids along, too.

View all posts by Jamie Wagner >

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