Giving Back to Children In Our Community
JD Antosiak has been working with Oneupweb for a year and a half, he is a father of two and has been faithfully serving at Resurrection Life Church for almost 8 years.
When I decided to switch jobs, it was more about culture, benefits and burnout than it was about money. My life looked different than it did when I was 20. Things I valued had changed.
My wife and I had recently gotten married and she was almost eight months pregnant when I left my position at another agency downstate and took my position here at Oneupweb in Traverse City. To any normal person, this would seem like the worst possible time to change jobs, but it wasn’t, and I’d do it again.
There were many new benefits that came with my job transfer to Oneupweb, one of which was something called Volunteer Paid Time Off (VPTO). I had never heard of that before, but you can do the math: get paid in the form of paid time off to volunteer for a nonprofit – like a soup kitchen, for example. But it was way more open. It wasn’t where the agency gave you a short-list of approved places. You got to choose.
It’s not often that an employer will validate the desires of your heart and encourage you to spend time with the things that make you happy. We get many other benefits here and they all come from the same heart posture. Oneupweb is basically saying, “I care about the things that you care about.”
The Privilege of a Good Environment
Let me tell you, it’s a privilege to be treated that way.
I could write about all of the other benefits we receive here, but for the sake of this blog, I’ll keep it to my VPTO. I prayed for three years waiting for God to give me a green light and an open door to look for another job. That’s how I ended up at Oneupweb. Like I mentioned above, we were eight months pregnant, so we were welcomed with insurance from day one as well as paternity leave after being employed for only six weeks. We were well received by this organization.
As for VPTO, it would make sense that volunteering at my church was a natural fit for me – it’s something that’s incredibly important and near to my heart.
I was thrilled to learn that I could earn paid time off spending weekends running youth groups, going on outings, putting on events, staying up all night at lock-ins, and most important, helping kids who deserve to be loved. We also do some incredible community outreach programs. Every year our church partners with our public school system to work with the kids in their Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP).
If you’ve never heard of the STEP program, that’s OK, I’ll give you a rundown. The program helps kids anywhere from 3 to 20 years of age in our area who are “in transition” and are in the school system.
Transition is one of those funny words that’s rather ambiguous. It means kids who don’t have homes. But it takes on many forms. Some are in foster homes, others are removed from their homes and living with foster parents or other situations. It’s a nightmare for all of them, and I thank God that I have never had to walk in those shoes.
In this program, we not only support these kids emotionally but buy things that these children need. Some are basic things we take for granted – like soap. Other items include things for fun, reading and playing sports.
Thanks to Oneupweb, I get to earn paid time off spending some of my free time helping these children in need and teaching them how to love and support other children. Watching kids learn to help other kids with an open heart is a beautiful thing.
Working for a Company That Values the Community
This leverage provided by Oneupweb is basically my employer telling me that I matter and that my interests matter.
At Oneupweb, VPTO isn’t designed to get people to help out at soup kitchens. VPTO at Oneupweb is what happens when an organization tells you that you matter. If an employer will invest in your heart, they invest in much more than an employee.
Want to work for a company that values the community and your contributions to it? Check out our career opportunities.