Associates Share 2017 Volunteer Stories

Creating community is at the heart of Macy’s. It means showing up during a time of need. It means creating and sharing joy during the holidays. We are proud to be an integral part of the communities we serve and are committed to giving back to our communities.

We demonstrate this commitment in a number of ways, from customer giving campaigns to corporate grants and philanthropy to our best-in-class Partners in Time employee volunteerism program.

Through Partners in Time, Macy’s Associates around the country took on hundreds of volunteer projects in 2017. Despite how busy or hectic life got, these Associates always showed up for the people, causes, and organizations for which they care – and each in ways that were meaningful and unique to them.

Hear directly from five Associates from around the country:

Habitat for Humanity

Gwendolyn Haire, senior testing analyst – Johns Creek, Georgia

“I volunteer to do improvements for homes and schools with Habitat for Humanity, which is an organization that truly serves the community. The organizers were prepared with tools and instructions so all 43 of us could get to work right away. This year, we were able to meet the homeowners who really appreciated everyone coming out to make the improvements.

I get a lot of satisfaction serving the community. We get to meet other Associates which is a lot of fun. And, we get to see the delight in the homeowners’ faces. Giving is receiving.”

Donation Boxes for Hurricane Harvey Victims with Trusted World

Sheila Barnes, VP store manager – Hurst, Texas

“The videos of the Harvey devastation on the news were so vivid and my heart sank knowing we had Macy's family, friends and colleagues impacted. The amount of donations was overwhelming, but Trusted World only had a handful of permanent employees to manage the supplies. I put together five days and more than 70 team members to volunteer. We unloaded cars, trucks and U-Hauls containing thousands of donated items. Macy’s donated boxes to sort and manage supplies.

It felt great knowing we were a part of getting these items to those in need.”

Guide Dogs for the Blind

Tracy Ekizian, MyStylist and corporate sales executive – Reno, Nevada 

“I volunteer for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Eight years ago, I raised a puppy from eight-weeks old until she was almost 18-months old when she went back to San Raphael, California for her formal training. She was partnered with a blind person for a short time but the dog was retired due to medical reasons. I was able to adopt her and retrained her to do therapy work in our local hospital. I still volunteer to puppy sit while puppy raisers from our local club are away, and she helps.

My Macy’s store and my co-workers are so supportive of my passion and my puppies are always greeted with such joy by everyone in our store.”

Gift Boxes for the Homeless

Melanie Kaylor, merchandise team manager – Greenbrier, Virginia

“I began volunteering at the Ohef Sholom Soup Kitchen four years ago during our Bag Hunger campaign.  I plan monthly volunteer events for Macy’s Associates to help prepare, cook and serve meals, distribute toiletry samples, and donate shoes and clothing. I even include my kids!

When my selling supervisor, Lorna Dillman, suggested we make holiday boxes for the homeless, I knew that Ohef Sholom would be a great recipient for this initiative. Our entire store team helped to collect toiletries, socks and snacks to donate to our community.

There is nothing more satisfying than receiving a smile or a thank you just for giving time. Together we are the magic!”

Keeping Hawaii Clean from Mauka to Makai (Mountain to Ocean)

Dao Vela, merchandise team manager – Honolulu, Hawaii 

“I started volunteering to do coastal cleanup projects in 2016 on the north shore of Oahu. The first time I was there and actually saw the large amount of marine debris was overwhelming. It’s sad to see how humans have affected the environment, and what has happened and will continue to happen to our beaches. By the end of the beach cleanups, when you can see the result of the work, you feel that you are making a difference.

One of the reasons I love living in Hawaii is the beautiful beaches and crystal blue ocean. I will work to preserve this part of my community!”

We tip our hats to our Associates who make life shine brighter in our communities each and every day, and especially to our Partners in Time captains who have made hundreds of volunteer projects come to life.

Want to get involved with Partners in Time? Be on the lookout for opportunities to volunteer and give back on this month’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and the Bag Hunger campaign in March!