Local GEICO associate has what it takes to be a ’Big Sister’
TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson resident Capin Garden grew up as the little sister to her only brother, James Alexander. Recently, though, she has learned what it’s like to be the “Big Sister,” this time to a very lucky teenager who she didn’t even know a year ago.
Garden, a regional event coordinator in GEICO’s Tucson office, loves her volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Tucson and it’s just one of the many volunteer opportunities GEICO offers its associates. From a very young age, Garden’s parents taught her the importance of volunteering and she’s found that applying the principle to her professional life comes very easily.
She joined GEICO in the company’s San Diego office in 2002 and transferred to the Tucson office when it opened in 2004. She took on the assignment of regional event marketing coordinator, where among her other duties she began to foster a corporate relationship with the local community.
After the first big steps in helping GEICO become a willing community partner in Tucson, she wanted to take on some volunteer work in her new town.
“I found out that Big Brother Big Sisters Tucson has a program that can really make an impact in a teen’s life,” Garden said. And she jumped right in.
The year has been filled with Guitar Hero sessions, basketball games and other sporting events. She said, “It may not seem like a lot, but he is the oldest of five children and doesn’t always get to be a kid while helping his younger siblings at home. He is a great young man from a great family and he’s made significant improvements in his grades, aspirations and overall demeanor in the past year.”
Garden explains that being a part of BBBS Tucson is one of the most rewarding experiences she can name and emphasizes that it’s an amazing organization with proven results. Research shows that children with a Big Brother or Big Sister show differences in their personal and academic lives and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, skip school, or be physically violent.
Garden suggests doing research before donating or volunteering to find out how an organization is managed and to make sure the money is going toward the programs you want to support. To do this, she sits on the executive board of directors at BBBS Tucson as the fund development chair which allows her to be part of decisions that are crucial to the organization and assures her that it is running efficiently.
Garden would like to leave every Tucsonan with volunteering advice. “It doesn’t take a lot to be a Big. It’s simple things like playing video games or cheering them on at school event for as little as a few hours a month. If people committed a few small but meaningful moments with at-risk kids, we would be making a significant impact towards building a stronger community here in Tucson.”
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