For the past several years, I have tried to give back to the communities I’ve lived in by volunteering when possible.
My busy schedule doesn’t allot much time to do as much as I would like, but whenever I find time to give back, it always feels incredible.
I recently had two opportunities in October to give back — Renfrew’s Pumpkin Festival in Waynesboro and the United Way of Franklin County’s Day of Caring.
At Renfrew, groups of volunteers came together to help serve visitors enjoy a beautiful fall day with their families.
The sun was shining bright, and I was amazed at how well perfect strangers worked together to accomplish a goal.
I was placed at the soup stand, and ladled hearty vegetable soup to hungry patrons. The line was slow at first, but picked up quickly.
I worked with a group of Mount St. Mary’s students and Claire Cahill of Waynesboro. While we formed an assembly line to get bowls of steaming soup to visitors, we learned about each other’s lives for a few hours. I was extremely impressed with the future aspirations of the students from the Mount’s swim team. Future doctors, engineers and political science majors having fun together while helping others.
A few weeks later, I wanted to help the United Way with its Day of Caring. The organization had a list of various projects to be completed throughout Franklin County, and I chose to help spruce up the exterior at Coyle Free Library in downtown Chambersburg.
I was paired with three gentlemen from FirstEnergy Corp., who thankfully came prepared with leaf blowers and rakes.
While they worked to clear the walkways and do the tough part of the job, I walked around the building pulling weeds from the mulch and flowerbeds.
It felt amazing to get outside in the fresh air, knowing we were making the area beautiful for passersby, as well as the library staff and patrons. The library was especially grateful for our help, and a few staff members told us how appreciative they were because they can only hire landscapers every so often for the upkeep. A few passersby also commented on our work and thanked us for helping.
Thank you to the volunteers who worked with me during those events, and made the days run smoothly! There are so many amazing people in our communities that work to make Franklin County a great place to live, work and play.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available year-round, and I hope anyone reading this is inspired to help with some of them. Donating your time is free, and is good for the soul!
By DENISE BONURA
Shippensburg News Chronicle
Franklin County CTA
Tyler Baum personifies one of the top CTA rules about Going the Extra Mile. As a technology advisor for Marco, the miles rack up as he sees current Marco customers and engages new clients throughout the Cumberland Valley. What sets Tyler apart from other sales people, and what makes him a stellar CTA, is his ability to listen and his enthusiasm for going above and beyond customer expectations.
“I love the sales world; there’s obviously pros and cons with people having the perception that all we want to do is sell, sell, sell. I like to create relationships and get down to what the customer needs and wants. Whether it’s with their office equipment, or having documents shredded, or the other services that we provide.” Working at Phillips Office Solutions (which Marco later acquired) in the office, purchasing, scheduling, logistics and warehousing, he decided to enter sales a few years back. Being a Marco rep may open doors, but being a CTA develops common ground, Tyler says.
“The Visitor’s Bureau happened to be one of my customers and that was just when the CTA program kicked off. I met Doug. I thought it was a great opportunity to get to know the county that I cover and as well as other counties, and to get more knowledge about the territory where I spend most of my days. When I wear my CTA pin, most people ask what it is, if they don’t know already, and it makes the conversation easier to just have a normal talk with people. We want to live, work, play in the communities we visit.”
A native of Newville, he graduated from Big Spring High School, attended Shippensburg University and later moved onto Phillips, working in Middletown for four years before the transition into sales. At 28, with family in the area, he is active in his church in Shippensburg, plays flag football every weekend and serves as an assistant executive director of a flag football league. “We’re trying to give young adults something to do, that’s not the party scene, or the drug culture. We’re putting a good effort forward to be a family community where people get to know each other and friendships really thrive.”
With customer service paramount in his career, Tyler takes note when there is a lack of it. “Every year I travel to Ocean City, MD for a flag football tournament. Whether it’s at the hotel or the restaurants we go to, or mini golfing we do, if there is not a good vibe, good customer service, I can feel that right away. It turns you off to want to go back to said place or even said city. It really makes a difference – with the CTA program, I really see the big picture – that Doug, Janet and the whole team is trying to implement, county wide – no matter where anybody walks, or eats, or sleeps, they should have a pleasant experience in Franklin County.”
He loves the energy of the Cumberland Valley. “Everybody with technology has information at their fingertips now. If you have somebody at your hotel or your restaurant, who can provide the info you want, at a moment’s notice and provide it with a smile and pleasant attitude, I think that really gets people talking about Franklin County. It changes the energy from a negative to a positive outlook. Yes, there’s things to do here. Some really cool things.”
Special thanks to Franklin County CTA Dianna Heim,Director of Strategic Relationship Development, for contributing this CTA spotlight.
Time flies! The final CTA renewal date is quickly nearing the 12/31/2019 deadline to renew your Franklin County CTA certification. If you took the Certification in 2018, the visitors bureau hopes that you will choose to continue to serve as a Franklin County CTA for 2020. CTAs will be contacted via email and by phone over the next few weeks before the 10/31/2019 deadline. We are here to help you through this process!
Why Should You Renew? Top 4 Reasons:
- Keep receiving invitations to Franklin County CTA-exclusive events and mixers and discounts!
- Keep in the know: continue learning and building on the Franklin County knowledge you already have.
- Continue to be a part of over 20,000 CTAs worldwide (and over 150 Franklin County CTAs!) who work together to enhance the visitor experience, make people feel welcome, and give back to their city everyday.
- Continue to meet new people in Franklin County, make friends in the community, and discover new volunteer opportunities.
2 Easy Steps To Renew:
- Add your 50 CTA points at www.ctanetowrk.com. Need your login and password – email Doug Harmon at email@example.com
- Pay your $25 renewal fee (payable by check or cash). To pay by credit card, you can call us at 717-552-2977. Checks can be made out to “FCVB” and mailed to 15 S. Main St., Chambersburg, PA 17201. You can also come by The 11/30 Visitors Center to pay.