Volunteering runs “all in the family”

PPL Electric Utilities Right of Way supervisor Allison Sheehe’s interest in volunteering sparked while in high school. Growing up in Bloomsburg, Pa., she’d volunteer here and there, but helping her community following Hurricane Sandy made a lasting impression.  

“Our town was hit very hard with flooding,” she said. “I helped some residents clean out their homes, which was just devastating to witness. They were throwing away pretty much everything, including photos and things that can’t be replaced.”

Since then, Sheehe remains active in her community and participates often in PPL’s volunteer events, including employee-led business resource group projects. Last year she served as team captain for PPL’s United Way Day of Caring when co-workers painted pavilions at a local park and volunteered with Community Roots to hand out native seedlings and flowering plants during the Bloomsburg Fair.

She recently participated in the Earth Appreciation Month event hosted at Wilson Park in Harrisburg.

In addition to giving back through PPL volunteer projects, she is passionate about helping the community through the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. Early on while dating her boyfriend Peter, whom she later married, she was introduced to the nonprofit by his mom, Martha, who helped found the organization.

“The Food Cupboard is sort of a family affair now,” said Sheehe. “We have a daughter who’s two years old, and my mother-in-law takes her with her. It’s cute to see it full circle now. She’s pretty popular there.”

The Sheehe family can often be found at the Food Cupboard helping with food drives, restocking shelves of dry goods and doing work around the facility. Last year, they helped organize a 5K run and community event on behalf of the organization.

“We host a 5K as our annual fundraiser now. Last year was our first one,” said Sheehe.” If someone can’t volunteer at the event or volunteer throughout the year, just coming and being a participant is helpful too. We have food trucks, music and trivia. It was successful for our first year with118 runners.”

This year’s fundraiser, called the “Filling Bellies 5K and Festival,” is on June 12 at The Farm in Bloom. Those interested can visit the organization’s website for more information.

When thinking about what volunteerism means to her, Sheehe reflected how it can mean many things to different people, but what makes it most meaningful is when someone finds their passion and purpose.

“Find what you’re passionate about and decide what you can give at that time to help,” she said. “It’s not always your time. You can donate money if you don’t have the time, and you can participate in community fundraising events.”

“I think most people will say volunteering can fulfill a sense of purpose,” she said. “I honestly don’t think most people realize how much fun it can be if you find the right organization and you find the right volunteer role.”

May 17, 2024