Denver AEDP Gives Back to the Community
Author: Daniel H.
Location: Denver, Colorado
Ever wanted to walk into a giant storage freezer? Enjoy shopping at Costco? Want to help feed hundreds of thousands of people in your community? These are just a few of the many reasons why Cigna AEDP students in the Denver office have made volunteering at the Food Bank of the Rockies an annual priority.
Each year, AEDP students lead a group of Denver actuaries and other coworkers in volunteering at the Food Bank’s 88,000 square foot warehouse for a volunteer experience unlike any other. Since every Cigna employee gets 8 hours of paid time a year to volunteer in their local community, it’s not hard to get a good group of volunteers together. Typically the day starts off with learning how to operate a pallet jack, which groups will use to cart around pallets of food to be given to a local shelter, food pantry, or community center. The food comes from donations from commercial groceries, food manufacturers and distributors, and is stationed on racks all over the warehouse and even inside a giant walk-in refrigerator and freezer. Teams of volunteers are formed to go “shopping” for the food recipient by hauling their pallet jack around the floor of the warehouse and “building” up a five foot high stack of cans, boxes, and bags of food that can weighs upwards of 500 lbs. Oftentimes some friendly competition breaks out amongst AEDP’rs to see who can have the neatest stack or fill the most orders!
When the orders have been filled, the volunteering continues and usually involves sorting through donated food, filling up smaller donation orders using boxes (instead of pallets), or breaking down and recycling all of the cardboard the Food Bank goes through in a given day. But no matter what the task is, AEDP students agree that the day is a great way to work together outside of the office, make some new friends with other volunteers, and give back to the community.
My favorite part of the day? It’s fun seeing who helped out mom the most while shopping for groceries as a kid, and especially which students need to spend more time learning how to drive a pallet jack!