Home Federal Blog
Community Roots: Volunteer Profiles
Lee Kulas, Mandy Anderson, and Brett Kemmer
Strengthening Communities through Volunteering and Giving
At Home Federal, we understand that the strength of a community – or its roots – is directly tied to the individuals, organizations, and businesses that make up that community. Built off the mantra of “Give Today to Help Grow Tomorrow,” Community Roots was created to help strengthen communities through volunteering, charitable giving, and supporting each and every client and community member within the local areas we serve.
In this article, we have highlighted three of our Home Federal team members. Discover the organizations they volunteer for and why they are passionate about these causes.
Community Roots Volunteer Profiles:
Lee Kulas, Mandy Anderson, and Brett Kemmer
Lee Kulas • Assistant Branch Manager • Rochester - Downtown
VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS: Adapta (formerly Wing House)
WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION: Before joining Adapta's board of directors, I had encountered many folks with traumatic brain injuries during my time in the military. I feel it is an often misunderstood affliction. Some of the medical terminology (most of it, to be honest) goes over my head, however, I'm happy to apply what I've learned in banking in a way that benefits those in our community affected by these injuries. Adapta's staff is top-notch and do a wonderful job making their residents feel at home!
Mandy Anderson • Branch Manager/Market Operations • Rochester - Civic Center
VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS: Rochester Youth Volleyball Association, Family Service Rochester, and Junior Achievement
WHAT YOU DO FOR THEM: Rochester Youth Volleyball Association (RYVA) - I serve on the board as Treasurer and volunteer at events. RYVA focuses on developing youth through the sport of volleyball. They focus on teamwork, skill building, morality, and confidence building. We originally got involved in RYVA when my oldest, who is now 18, started with the Volley Tots program when she was 7. Since then, our other two girls have joined in as well!
Family Service Rochester - I help a couple of elderly ladies in the community by cleaning their house a few times a month. My family also helps in the spring and fall getting yards ready for the changing season. Also, the Civic Center branch along with volunteers from our corporate office deliver meals through Meals on Wheels program on Wednesdays. There are several volunteer opportunities on the Family Service Rochester website and it's easy to find one or more that will fit your schedule.
Junior Achievement - I volunteer at local schools helping teach classes about finances, career building, and other life skills.
WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS: All organizations have very specific missions. Family Services Rochester is an all-around amazing program that helps out so many people in the area. Their online volunteer website makes it easy to volunteer. All of the volunteer opportunities are listed which range from consistent volunteer opportunities to one time only help, for instance, someone may need help unclogging their kitchen sink, hanging up curtains, or repairing a screen door.
Brett Kemmer • AVP Mortgage Loan Officer • La Crescent
VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS: Lions Club of La Crescent, Healthy Community Partnership, and La Crescent Economic Development Commission
WHAT YOU DO FOR THEM: Lions Club of La Crescent. I officially joined the Lions as a member about a year ago and have plans to join the board in July. The Lions Club of La Crescent is part of the international service group of Lions International. Their larger efforts are serving the youth, providing disaster relief, and meeting humanitarian needs. Locally, I have helped on many projects including building a new elementary school playground, participating in fundraising efforts, and helping with cleanup projects around the city. It is hard not to be passionate in the support of a club whose mantra is simply, "We serve."
Healthy Community Partnership. Healthy Community Partnership (HCP) is a nonprofit umbrella organization for eight smaller nonprofits in La Crescent that include, Neighbors In Action, The La Crescent Food Shelf, Appleseed Community Theatre, The La Crescent Bike Shop, Community Garden, Touching Moments Pet Therapy, Windy Ridge Riding Center, and Neighbors Day. I have been involved on a volunteer basis with many of these organizations individually over the years on projects. In January I officially accepted the Financial Manager position for HCP. I now do the majority of the bookkeeping for all eight smaller organizations and offer financial reports and insight to the larger organization.
La Crescent Economic Development Commission (EDC). The La Crescent EDC focuses on issues affecting the city economically, such as new business creation, land use, and public policy. The commission largely reports to the City's Administration who makes decisions or recommendations based on the information provided. I have been with the commission since 2015 and have been involved in discussing many topics and made many recommendations that have led to significant changes in the city.
It Takes a Village
We strongly believe that “it takes a village.” That’s why we encourage each of our employees to get out and volunteer their time, as well as support each and every one of our clients and community members in their quests to give back – whether it’s with their time or their money. If we can all work together and give a little more back every year, our communities will continue to thrive.
Stay tuned for more featured employees in upcoming articles!