Volunteering Is in Our DNA: How Callie Helps Lead the Way
by Chelsea St. Ives, Gap Inc. blogger
At Gap Inc., giving back to the community never goes out of style: Thanks to our founders Don and Doris Fisher, it’s been an integral part of our company’s mission from the start. To celebrate Global Volunteer Month, we talked with Callie Ryan, an inventory planning manager at Old Navy’s San Francisco headquarters. She’s making a difference by volunteering as one of more than 3,000 Gap Inc. Community Leaders around the globe.
How long have you been a Community Leader at Old Navy?
Ooof, that’s a good question — a long time – it’s been a few years now. It’s true that time flies when you’re having fun!
So what does a Community Leader do?
Community Leaders are in charge of their teams’ group volunteer projects — we’re the ones who help our teams make an impact by connecting employee volunteers with local nonprofits that can use our skills and talents.
And that’s all on top of getting your job done in the meantime, right? How do you balance being a Community Leader with your work responsibilities?
Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but I do my best to find whatever time we have and work with our nonprofit partners to identify opportunities for the team to volunteer. I try to remember that going big isn’t the only way to do something. No matter how big or small, the action makes a difference, and that’s what matters.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a Community Leader?
The connections that are made between Old Navy volunteers and people in our community are amazing to see. We’re in a wonderful position to be able to give back to some very deserving members of the places we call home, and everyone involved gets so much out of it.
Is it important to you to work for a company that supports volunteering?
Nerdily enough, I was a Girl Scout until I was 18 — so volunteering is in my DNA, just like it’s in the DNA of Gap Inc. Working for a company that not only supports volunteering but also has a commitment to amplifying its impact is phenomenal. It makes coming to work each day that much more rewarding.
What kind of support do you get from the company?
Gap Inc. has been incredibly supportive. Last year, we applied for (and received) an HQ Community Leader Grant for our local chapter of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, an organization that helps reduce isolation and loneliness among older adults, and we were able to fully fund their St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Old Navy volunteers helped run the event, and it was an incredible experience for everyone. That’s just one example of many!
If you had one piece of advice for somebody new to being a Community Leader, what would it be?
Solicit feedback from your team and tap into the power of our portfolio of brands. Lots of Old Navy employees are already involved with nonprofits outside of work, so making those connections is a great way to create meaningful events centered around issues that our employees are passionate about.
Interested in joining the Old Navy team? Check out our open jobs and follow us on LinkedIn to learn more about working here.