This past weekend was a big weekend for the Scottish community in St. Louis as the St. Louis Scottish Games took over Forest Park.
Close your eyes and picture Forest Park full of Scots and Americans, many wearing traditional highland attire, the sound of the bagpipes floating across the park, the clang of swords, the melody of folk music, the grunts of the athletes as they toss cabers and other heavy objects, the smell of food, the laughter of children, and the cheers of onlookers. This was the experience for the thousands of people who visited the 2011 Scottish Games.
I was privileged to be one of the many volunteers involved. And I’m grateful that my day job actively supports my involvement in promoting the country of my birth to the great people of St. Louis.
My involvement is running the Games website, social media outreach via Facebook and Twitter, and organizing and participating in a few radio and TV interviews promoting the Games. And since the Games is a 100% volunteer-run event, support from volunteers and donors is essential to its success. Monsanto, my employer, supports the Games, and many other organizations, by encouraging both.
Monsanto actively encourages volunteerism, and when employees volunteer with non-profits Monsanto also makes monetary grants to those same non-profits. In the past year, this has translated into more than 16,000 volunteer hours impacting more than 300 organizations, accompanied by grants of $250 for every 20 hours of volunteer work.
So, in my case, not only does Monsanto allow me the time to go and volunteer, but they also give money to the Games because I volunteer. And to have that support, means a great deal to me—and a huge deal to the Games.
I also must mention that Monsanto also recently launched the Grow St. Louis program, where the public gets to vote for their favorite non-profit, and the winners receive grants of up to $15,000.
If you’d like to volunteer with the Scottish Games, or maybe the Robert Burns Dinner in January or Tartan Day in April, post a comment below and I’ll get in touch with you. And if you’re a Monsanto employee with similar experiences, please post your comments about your involvement in the community and opportunities for others to get involved and give a little back.
Video about the St. Louis Scottish Games on KSDK’s Show Me St. Louis