At Vivial, we are committed to playing a positive role in the local communities where we work and live. We look for opportunities to help serve and support our neighbors. It’s as important to us as supporting our local business partners.

Tuesday is #GivingTuesday, and we hope everyone takes the opportunity to celebrate the spirit of giving.

Entering its sixth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and more importantly, after the widely recognized shopping frenzy events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

#GivingTuesday is a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy, and we’d like to take a moment to celebrate and support some of our incredible employees who volunteer their time, money and skills to help others in their local communities.

Stephanie Laratta has been with Vivial for more than 20 years and is consistently one of our best sales reps. The majority of her success can be attributed to the fact that she truly cares about the businesses she calls on and wants to do anything she can to help them succeed.

Her drive and compassion are just as present in her volunteer work. Stephanie volunteers through her local church, The Summit Church, who is involved in many community activities locally, nationally and even abroad.

“This year, I personally assisted with a group who refreshed (cleaned up) the Oak Ridge School Campus,” Stephanie commented. “This was cleaning up the summer debris, winterizing the yard, stripping paint from a railing, pressure washing the walkways and school steps, etc.

“Also, I helped with West End Ministries, winterizing their food & herb garden as well as serving food at one of the functions used to raise donations for the Women’s  House, which is part of the ministries – it’s called Leslie’s House. It’s an amazing facility offering not only food and shelter to women trying to get back on their feet but also educational programs and basic essentials needed to be a part of society.

“Although finding time to volunteer can be challenging,  EVERY TIME I get involved, it feels somehow like I’m getting more out of it. Getting involved with the community makes me feel so fulfilled. I always come away feeling like I made a true difference and that feels awesome. The impact you make when putting others before yourself is an incredible feeling … and I end up growing spiritually & emotionally as well. It’s like Gandhi said, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ That is the truth.”

Another Vivial rep in Cincinnati, Allen Womacks, dedicates time to volunteer for Toys for Tots each year, as well as another organization that also holds a special place in his heart.

“I have two organizations that I give my time to,” explained Allen. “The first, which is very near and dear to me, is the Toys for Tots Foundation. It is a Marine Corps foundation that collects and gives back to less fortunate families that can’t afford to buy toys and things for Christmas.

“When I was a young child my parents had to use a program like this one to make sure that we had something to open on Christmas Day. I never forgot about that. When I found out that there was a program that allowed me to pay that forward, I jumped at the opportunity.

“I volunteer every year for as many events as my time allows me to, so I make sure that I am able to give back and help those kids like someone helped me when I was little. Being able to pay this forward is a very humbling and rewarding feeling because I know that there are millions of children around the U.S. that wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for programs like this one.

“We set up drop-off boxes all over the tri-state for people to donate new unwrapped toys and we host and attend big and small events where the business or organization putting the event on will donate toys as well as write checks to us, so we can go purchase toys and things. We also have a massive event at the football stadium where the Marines are at every entrance taking donations, rain, snow, or sunshine, we are there to make sure that the kids are taken care of.”

The second organization that Allen volunteers for is Armed Forces Ticket Association (AFTA) Cincinnati.

“I help these wonderful ladies hand out tickets to our local veterans for events that happen around the Tri-State area,” he explained. “These events include plays, ballets, concerts, sporting events, etc. Being that I am a Marine myself, I truly enjoy seeing the faces of the veterans that get to partake in these events because of the pure joy that is in their eyes when they show up to get the tickets.

“Also running into them at the events when I get to attend them myself is a lot of fun because they remember you and always want to say hello and thank us for the tickets. Helping out veterans is something that doesn’t happen as much as it should, so I try to help as much as I can to thank them for their service to our country, which many of them never hear ‘thank you.’ A simple ‘Thank You’ goes a long way, and if you can add something like a ticket to an event that they are passionate about, it is just icing on the cake.”

This #GivingTuesday, Vivial would like to thank Stephanie, Allen and all of our other employees who are so generous with their time and resources and use them to help others in their local communities. You are truly making a difference in the lives of others, and we are proud to know you are part of our team.