By Human Resources Department
Giving back to the community comes in many forms at Rogers Corporation. For Kim Salvas, Senior IT Manager at Rogers, it comes in the shape of 5-month-old Fidelco German Shepherd puppy, Zelda. Zelda is the newest addition to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, in training to become a life-changing partner to a man or woman who is blind.
Kim first began volunteering with Fidelco after losing her beloved dog to cancer. “I found Fidelco to be very highly rated and offered weekly training for the puppy raisers,” Kim explains. “I received my first puppy, Kaleb in June of 2006.”
Zelda is Kim’s fourth Fidelco puppy. Two of her past trainees have become life-changing partners to visually impaired Fidelco clients and one has joined the search and rescue program for the Rhode Island police force. As many pet caretakers and trainers would agree, Kim notes that “the most difficult part of raising the puppy is giving it back to Fidelco for the final portion of its training.”
Kim’s work with Fidelco offers a unique opportunity to incorporate volunteering into her work at Rogers. “I am fortunate I am able to take the puppy to work with me,” Kim says. “By bringing the puppy to Rogers I am able to integrate the training with work.” These opportunities include learning more about her colleagues and sharing the reward of giving back with the community at Rogers Corporation.
“I take every other summer ‘off’ from raising a puppy. During these periods I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked by co-workers: ‘When are WE getting a new puppy?’” During these training periods, Kim’s Fidelco trainees become members of the Rogers family. “It is always a sad day at the Rogers’ location the day before I give the puppy back to Fidelco,” she notes.
Like many volunteering programs, one of the biggest challenges in raising and training a future Fidelco guide dog is the time commitment. This presents opportunities to develop time management techniques and other skills to help balance responsibilities both inside and outside the office.
Denim Day, an annual event at Rogers Corporation, gives all employees a fun chance to get involved with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. By making a small donation, employees can wear their favorite blue jeans to work while contributing to a worthy cause. This year, Rogers employees successfully raised $195 with a company match for a total of $390.
“Being a volunteer puppy raiser has improved my quality of life,” Kim reflects. “It is so rewarding knowing I am directly improving someone else’s quality of life, simply by doing something I enjoy.”
Want to learn more about the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation? Visit their website for more information and testimonials from people whose lives have been restored by a Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dog.
Would you like to share your volunteering story? Share your ideas in our Comments section or email us.