TDS values the communities it serves and encourages employees to be involved in organizations where they live. To recognize these efforts, TDS names a Volunteer of the Quarter to an employee who is going above and beyond for their community. This quarter, Rachel Margis is being recognized as her efforts in Madison, Wisconsin.

For Rachel Margis, volunteering is a way to learn more about her community and utilize her skills in a meaningful way.

Rachel regularly donates her time and expertise to multiple organizations—five to be exact. River Food Pantry, Sierra Club, Blackhawk Church, Bella Soul Bracelets and We International all benefit from Rachel’s support.

Deciding where to volunteer can be difficult due to the high volume of organizations that could benefit from volunteer work, Rachel described. She wanted to become more involved in the Madison community and decided to lend her time and skills to nonprofits she personally supported.

“I support the mission of each organization I volunteer with,” Rachel said. “I like them all for different reasons. I like to connect with the kids in the children’s ministry at Blackhawk Church, learn more about our local Madison environment with Sierra Club and empower women here and abroad.”

Rachel’s typical volunteer activities are not so typical. She donates her time and labor when serving at the River Food Pantry or helping the children’s ministry at Blackhawk Church, but she also implements her creative mind into her volunteer work.

Rachel makes pieces of jewelry for Bella Soul, an organization that supports college students who face chronic illnesses, diseases and physical disabilities through scholarships and emotional support. Not only does she create pieces of jewelry, Rachel also helps create a marketing strategy for WE International. WE International is a nonprofit organization that works to empower individuals in the developing world.

When asked why she chose this unique type of volunteering, Rachel explained that these organizations give her the opportunity to combine her passion for communications and jewelry making with meaningful causes.

“My volunteering benefits both the organization and myself,” she explained. “I can help keep costs down for the nonprofits while I gain experience for myself and do something that I love.”

From a young age, Rachel has been interested in making bracelets and other pieces of jewelry. Later in life as a student at UW-Madison, she realized her intrigue for communications work. These interests and others such as being involved in her church and environmentalism are what fuel her countless volunteer hours. Today, these passions allow Rachel to express her creative outlet in a different way and benefit her local community.

“I love to spend time with each of these organizations,” Rachel said of her experience. “I enjoy connecting with the individuals at each nonprofit. I have fun while I’m there!”

Regularly volunteering has become a part of Rachel’s weekly schedule for about a year. She tries to take the time once or twice a week to help the organizations she cares about. Rachel’s dedication to multiple organizations and love for the work she does with them is why she is Volunteer of the Quarter.

Congratulations, Rachel!

Pictured middle row, left, is Rachel with a group who volunteered at Clean Lakes Alliance.

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