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Palm Harbor bank employees join volunteer program
Wells Fargo district and bank managers recently participated in the new program
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Photo by JEFF ROSENFIELD
Wells Fargo Bank district and branch managers pose for the camera after helping lay several pallets of sod on Tuesday, July 18, as part of Oldsmar’s new Volunteer Program.
OLDSMAR – The city of Oldsmar’s new Volunteer Program has started to pay dividends, as collaborations with local companies looking to provide volunteer manpower has already saved the city thousands of dollars in offset labor costs.

“We just started a formalized City volunteer program for individuals, groups or corporations, and last month, we had 270 volunteer hours and calculated we saved $6,200 in offset labor costs,” Leisure Services Director Felicia Donnelly, who started the program two months ago, said.

She said there is no shortage of projects the City could use help with.

“We’re seeking volunteers to do everything from helping with the programs at the community center to environmental cleanup and enhancements as well as park maintenance,” she said.

“We have something that will fit everybody’s needs.”

Since the program launched in May, volunteers from Oldsmar based Nielsen Media Research painted 6 benches and 12 restrooms throughout the City, and in June, 31 Nielsen interns participated in a shoreline cleanup effort at three local parks.

“The volunteers cleared shoreline debris at Mobbly Bayou Beach, Veterans Memorial Park and R.E. Olds Park,” City administrator Caren Beil, who is coordinating the volunteer program, said.

“A total of 50 bags were cleared, each bag weighing approximately 40-50 lbs.”

Beil said the program is proving to be a hit for all parties involved.

“It’s great because we can’t always expend the manpower hours needed to do every project,” she said. “So, this program helps us, and it helps the corporations and organizations looking to help in the community.”

For the latest project, Wells Fargo district and branch managers helped lay several pallets of sod at a city maintenance facility.

According to Poliana Junqueira, Wells Fargo VP/District Manager of the North Bay District, the project was perfectly aligned with the company’s mission statement.

“Our Vision & Values states: ‘At Wells Fargo, caring for customers and communities is embedded in our culture. We strive to create positive, lasting impact – socially, economically, and environmentally – through our operations, business practices, philanthropy, and community engagement,’” Junquiera, who is based in the Palm Harbor branch, said.

Junqueira added that volunteer work also serves as an excellent team building exercise.

“This is my team, and I believe this is a way to build strong teamwork and build the community, to volunteer and give back,” she said. “This is all coming from the heart, because it’s important to give back. We’re making a difference in our community. It’s a way to connect with the city. It’s the heart of what we do.”

Donnelly said the City is actively seeking similar partnerships, which have already proven to be beneficial to all parties involved.

“It gives the volunteers the experience and the ability to make a difference in the community through hand-on projects, and it helps us complete projects that might take a long time due to a number of factors,” she said. “It’s a win-win for both sides.”

For more information on Oldsmar’s Volunteer Program, contact Caren Beil at 813-749-1267.
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
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