Cheryl Yarbrough says one of her favorite things about working for Comerica Bank is the opportunity to give back to the community through employee volunteerism. Yarbrough, a credit specialist, has been with Comerica for more than 30 years and is an active volunteer through the Comerica Cares program. She has participated in the Comericasponsored Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Comerica’s National Day of Service, and has provided support to organizations such as THAW, Forgotten Harvest and Beyond Basics. Yarbrough volunteered to help at the Backpackpalooza event held at Comerica’s new Michigan market headquarters in August.
Why did you choose to volunteer for this project? Backpackpalooza was a unique opportunity to help kids in need in our community. I don’t have a schoolaged child anymore, but I know it can be difficult to prepare kids to go back to school and I wanted to do my part to help. Supplies can be costly, so it was especially rewarding to be able to provide that kind of support for parents—especially those with multiple children. The kids were so appreciative and excited to be able to pick out their own supplies.
Why do you think it is important to volunteer? It’s amazing to see the impact one person can have on another. You can never really know where you’re going to be tomorrow, so it’s nice to know that people are there to help those who need it. Giving financial support is important, but getting out there to volunteer gives you an opportunity to see firsthand the impact different organizations have on the community. It’s just a great feeling to be out there and be part of making a difference for someone.
What does it mean to work for a company that supports volunteerism? It’s a great feeling to know that the bank is committed to making a difference in the community. We wear our volunteer t-shirts for a reason, because Comerica really does care. It’s also great because it gives you a chance to meet other employees and make new friends outside of the typical work setting. I also volunteered at the old-fashioned ice cream social in August, when Comerica was giving away free scoops of ice cream at our new Michigan headquarters. A man walking by mentioned to me how great it was that the bank was doing this for the community for free—and it really made me proud to work for Comerica.
What would you say to someone who has never volunteered before? Just do it! A lot of people think volunteering is too time-consuming, but really just a few hours every now and then can make a huge difference. I’d also suggest volunteering with a friend or family member. My relatives often join me to help at my Comerica volunteer projects and they really enjoy it. It’s an opportunity to spend time together and have fun.
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