Never Underestimate the Impact of Volunteers: Celebrating National Volunteer Month

From its beginning, Elevate's mission to be a blessing to others, has in turn been made possible by others blessing us.

It's been a combined group effort of talents, time, and resources.

Our volunteers being at the very core of said services. 

We want to celebrate National Volunteer Month by sharing just a few of the faces (and hands) that continue to bless and serve our organization today. People who have started to feel more like family, than friends. 

A huge shout out and many thanks to all of our volunteers who selflessly give in a variety of ways and capacities. We truly couldn't do this without you!

“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”


-Martin Luther King, Jr.


Meet Heather

Role at Elevate: I get to help with all things creative... photography, graphic design, web, etc.

Why you decided to volunteer for Elevate: I've had the opportunity to be a part of Elevate since before it even had a name, so it probably wasn't really a decision, it kind of just happened. My husband and I became good friends with Brandon and Jess a little before they moved to India. When they came home and expressed the needs of Elevate's current Indian partners, they started talking through possible ways to meet those needs. That solution, inspired by our partners, would eventually become Elevate. Some of the first things we needed to do were to come up with a logo, design products, packaging, website, and take pictures. So it was pretty obvious what God wanted my role to be as an Elevate volunteer all the way from the beginning.

You serve in a few different areas within the marketing department. From photographer to graphic designer, what is your favorite role and why? I love how the different roles I get to participate in all flow together.... we plan out the photoshoots based on our graphic design needs for web and print. I love being able to capture the beauty of the products from behind the camera so the beauty of the mission can be clearly seen through our marketing. 

You’ve shared many moments with the Elevate team. Care to share a favorite? My favorite moments with the team always happen when we get an overseas update from our partners - getting to hear the impact that has transformed actual individual's lives is very humbling. It solidifies our camaraderie as a team here, and keeps us looking for more ways to serve more efficiently in more places to have an even greater impact. The Elevate team has not only impacted those half a world away, but has impacted my personal life profoundly. If the saying is true that you become like the people you hang around with most, then this team is the very best to be with! 

Looking forward to? What's next in your Elevate story? I'm really excited to get to travel to India to meet our partners in July!!!! I will be able to document photographically more of the leather-making process, the factory our partners own, and the community they live in! This way we will be able to share their story and Elevate's model with all of you more effectively. 

OK, a few less serious Q's just for fun. Comedy or Thriller? ...Is documentary an option? :P Um. Hands down comedy. There are already too many unpredictable and scary things that happen in daily life! No one's gonna talk me into wasting leisure time watching something that will PURPOSEFULLY give me heart attacks and paranoia! Ha!
What's your go-to spring or summer activity? Being out in the sunshine makes me happy. It doesn't matter too much what I'm doing as long as I can do it outside. Plants of all kinds rank pretty high on my happy spring/summer list as well. Also anything that involves a beach will get a big thumbs up from me!
If you had to live in another state other than Nebraska, which would it be and why? My sunshine answer applies here as well... I could live anywhere full-time if warm sunshine was a daily occurrence. 

Meet Cassie

Role at Elevate: Retail Store Volunteer

When you started volunteering: September 2018

Why you decided to volunteer for Elevate: I've always loved the product quality and passion behind the business!

Cassie, you’re a part of a sorority at UNK that cares a lot about philanthropy. What do the terms “service” and “impact” mean to you? In the community and in the world? Impact is how you influence those around you while making a difference on a larger scale. There's always a way to serve others through things your passionate about. For me, I love any service projects that has an end goal, like raising money towards women's cardiac care in my sorority!

What’s a fun fact about you? I'm a hugeeee Disney/Pixar fan. My dream job is to work for/at Pixar Studios in their marketing department.

Dogs or cats? DOGS. I want two golden retrievers when I graduate college.

If your life had a theme song what would it be? Dancing Queen by ABBA, mostly because I love Mama Mia.

Meet Sandy

Role at Elevate: Retail Volunteer Coordinator.

When you started volunteering: Store opened in October, but started getting organized in July.

Why did you decide to volunteer for Elevate? Watching a small, energetic, humble, dedicated, and caring team at Elevate doing so much to change so many lives across the world was so encouraging to me. I feel that if I could in a very small way help in their endeavors, I wanted to be involved. Opportunities to make a world impact with an organization like Elevate in Kearney, NE, just doesn’t happen often.

What do you enjoy the most about your role coordinating our store front? I enjoy getting better acquainted with the Elevate team and all the volunteers who help at the store and meeting Elevate customers.

Sandy, we are an interesting collection of individuals at the office. :P What’s a moment or memory you've enjoyed sharing with the team? I had the opporunity to travel with the team to Dallas for a women’s conference to share the vision and mission last September. I enjoyed spending time on the road with the team and other volunteers. It's fun to represent Elevate at an event like that. 

If you had to describe your time with Elevate/us thus far using three words, what would they be? Lifting others up!

You're on a desert island. You can bring three material things. What are they?  My bible, wedding ring, and a huge photo album filled with family photos.

Most impressive restaurant/food joint in Nebraska:  The Speakeasy near Holdrege, Nebraska. It has great food and it’s just a really unique spot.

Coffee or tea? In the winter a little coffee with flavored creamer, in the summer, iced tea.

Interested in learning more about being a volunteer? Email us at for more info!