Volunteer of the Quarter
Congratulations to Richard Little of TDS Telecom for his selection as 2019 Q1 Volunteer of the Quarter!
Rich is the captain of the New Boston Volunteer Fire Department’s central station, a department he has been volunteering with for 11 years. At the station, Rich responds to calls and addresses various disasters in the community, but he also a passion for helping younger generations. He helps aspiring firefighters gain experience to eventually land paid jobs at other stations and teaches young kids about the role of first responders in his station’s cadet program. “Every job is important, that’s one of the things we teach these kids,” Richard said. “Not everybody’s going to be the one in there in a dangerous situation, there’s going to have to be people that stay outside. That doesn’t mean one person is more important than another. We all have roles to play to best serve those in need.” Rich also teaches fire safety lessons at elementary schools, helps out at his station’s pancake breakfast, and volunteers with New Boston’s equipment committee, among many other things.
TDS aims to celebrate all employees that give back to their communities. Click on a year to see the past Volunteer of the Quarter winners.
Rich is someone who genuinely enjoys making long-lasting, positive impacts on the members of his community. As a captain/EMT for the New Boston Volunteer Fire Department, he takes great pride in improving the lives of those experiencing various crisis situations. He also enjoys teaching children about the vital role firefighters play in the community, as well as training future first responders to eventually get jobs elsewhere.
Jessica Hall helped create the Aly Wolff Foundation, named for her friend who was diagnosed with a liver tumor. The non-profit raises money for cancer research, and just like Aly, focuses on the good rather than the bad. Since the creation of the foundation, Aly has passed, but the organization has raised more than $500,000.
Every two years, Jared Romero grows his hair out for Locks of Love, a non-profit that gives hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children with long-term medical hair loss. Jared has been doing this since 2012 and has made an impact through his donations.
Barney Grigg has been active in his community since high school. His biggest involvement is with the Inola Fire Department where he has been helping for 35 years.
Mary Rux has a love for animals, which led her to start working with the Humane Society. She has since gone through training to work with both domestic and wild animals, and it has given her opportunities to learn and develop a variety of skills.
Jen Lichtie wanted to help kids, and she does just that through her volunteering. She likes helping kids think outside the box and apply real-life principals to real-world experiences. As a soccer coach, Girl Scout Leader, and a Junior Achievement instructor she is able to do all of that.
Robert is a volunteer at his son's school – helping weekly in the computer lab, teaching kids to be self-sufficient when performing computer-related tasks. He also runs in many local events for charity and works with the annual haunted house fundraiser in his hometown.
Cindy Wangen has an ongoing dedication to help those in need. Her main involvements include the Lutheran World Relief Organization, TDS' One-A-Week Blood Donor Club, Oregon Shadow Armada Summer Marching Band, and Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Michele "Mikey" Beaney
Michele gives back to her community by making quilts and sweaters, which she donates to First Step Pregnancy Center. In addition, she buys backpacks, fills them with school supplies, and donates them to Manna Ministries. These are just a few ways that Michele helps members of her community.
Beth is involved in her community all year, but especially during the holiday season when she collects toys and clothing for children. Her involvement supports Churches United in Ministry, and she goes above and beyond with her own contributions. ns.
Cindy takes the initiative to help others. She devoted time to helping a young man who was diagnosed with stage four cancer by organizing a fundraiser, helping him with transportation to and from doctor visits, and helping him seek solutions to financial concerns.
Alan is dedicated to serving his community. He was a Cub Scout leader and EMT, but now volunteers as a Boy Scout committee member, firefighter, and leads annual fire prevention classes.
Tatyana commits a lot of time to volunteering. She is involved with the Wisconsin Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children and also volunteers for the Russian School in Madison.
Marty volunteers his time to the Tax Assistance Program, which assists low-income individuals in preparing and filing their yearly taxes.
Lindsay took initiative after a 21-month-old child was shot by encouraging TDS employees to donate food, clothes, and toys for the child. Lindsay personally delivered the donations and was determined to help the young child in need.
Jana helped organized a gift-giving event to benefit Porchlight, a Madison-area organization that helps provide services and housing for the homeless.
After rescuing two dogs, Troy saw the importance of helping animals in need. He began to dedicate his time to helping animals and now has been volunteering every week for four years doing just that. Troy volunteers at Heartland Farm Animal Sanctuary every week to help with the daily tasks of caring for the pigs. While some may find this work gross, Troy loves to give a helping hand to animals in need.
Dorrell moved to Bend, Oregon, in April 2018 and made a huge impact in the community in a very short time. He not only lends his voice to emcee charitable events, but also gives his time to organizations in need. His involvement includes donating platelets, fostering dogs, dancing for charity, cleaning up the buttes and educating people on how technology works in weather forecasting.
For Rachel Margis, volunteering is a way to learn more about and become more involved in the Madison community. Five organizations benefit from Rachel’s various volunteer activities. She lends a hand at the River Food Pantry, designs jewelry for Bella Soul to fund scholarships for students with chronic illnesses, develops the marketing strategy for WE International, and more.
Alan not only volunteers in his local community, he also volunteers in the communities he travels to for work. He is involved in organizations near and far from Madison, including the North Freedom Fire Department, an animal shelter in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Nativity Lutheran Church in Bend, Oregon. According to Alan, he "feels more like a member of the community, rather than just a visitor," when he volunteers on the road.
Brian Ruppert started volunteering with Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) in 2009 with a group of TDS employees. Now, he continues his involvement by volunteering at all their events and has moved into a volunteer leadership position, where he received WPT’s Volunteer of the Year award.
Bob is very active in the community where he donates 10-15 hours per week of his time to various organizations. A few of the organizations he volunteers for include StageQ Theater Company, Madison Pride, Outreach Inc., the AIDS Network, and WORT.
Jessica is an avid volunteer with the Schools of Hope program, Mt Zion's academic learning center, and the Homeless Meal Ministry. She volunteers weekly at the different organizations, where she is able to help students of all ages gain knowledge and learn new skills.
Kay Johnson is an avid sewer and sews for non-profit organizations. She sews pillowcases for American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis., makes dresses for the Africa Project, and more. She has always liked to sew and she enjoys the sense of completing a project and knowing that kids in need are benefitting from what she's made.
Each year, Suzanne Covoloskie bikes 300 miles over four days across southern Wisconsin to raise money and awareness for AIDS. In addition, she participates in the Madison Polar Plunge each winter and gives back in smaller ways throughout the year to help her community.
Jennifer is willing to make the world a better place and she does so by volunteering at her children's school, organizing food drives, providing food, cleaning for a homeless shelter, and more.
Robin Koppenhaver is passionate about her volunteering and always reflects a positive attitude. She volunteers with the American Diabetes Association to support families who have children diagnosed with diabetes.
Sue uses her time to help organizations in the Twin Cities. She participates in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day, a 60-mile walk to raise money for breast cancer, and the Breast Cancer Ride for Open Arms Minnesota. Sue is involved in other organizations as well and dedicates her time without hesitation.
Deepa is dedicated to helping others through her involvement in many local organizations. One of her involvements is participating in annual non-profit runs for organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Crazy Legs, Henry Vilas Zoo Run, and the Union Grove Elementary School Run.
Adam is a living example of the expression “pay it forward.” He and his wife, Lisa, are making a difference in their community by delivering sleeping bags, clothing, and backpacks filled with toiletries to homeless people living in Nashville, Tennessee. Adam says, “This has been one of the most humbling experiences I've ever been a part of.”
Volunteering is a labor of love for Raul. Since 2012, he and his wife have been providing monthly community breakfasts to homeless and low-income families in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Raul firmly believes volunteering can help bridge cultural divides and build a sense of community. According to Raul, “There's always an opportunity to help people and make our community better.”
When it comes to community involvement, Nathan Urquhart goes above and beyond in the Denver area. He is involved in four charitable organizations including, Big Brother Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, the Denver Rescue Mission, and Denver Active 20-30. He finds the little things to be the most rewarding.
Hannah likes helping the community and believes that volunteering can make a huge impact. She is involved with the Dragon Master Foundation as well as other organizations. After having started volunteering at a young age, she wants to teach her daughter about giving back and understanding the significance of doing so.
Darrel is an avid volunteer in Dane County, Wis. He spends his time delivering meals for Meals on Wheels and working the phone bank for the Wisconsin Public Television’s annual auction.
Jill Mueller is an active participant with various Madison, Wis. area non-profit organizations. She enjoys working with kids and has coached for the Girls on the Run Program of Dane County, as well as worked with Junior Achievement teaching students in Cross Plains.
Annie Chism saw her passion and dedication to service expand as her children grew older. She is involved in many Madison, Wis. area organizations including Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), Books for the World, Grace Episcopal Church, and 100+ Women Who Care – Madison.
Nichole Kazda has brought in baked goods every Monday for over a year because she loves to bake. Her coworkers wanted to help compensate for all the baking costs, but Nichole insisted that if they gave money that it would go to charity instead.
Angela is always looking for a way to give back by volunteering or fundraising. She has organized fundraisers for AIDS, participated in fun runs, and has mentored college students.
Angela has a strong philanthropic commitment. She did research to determine which organization she wanted to be involved with the most — and picked Toys for Tots. She encouraged her department to get involved, too, and her excitement resulted in a large number of Toys for Tots volunteers.
In honor of his wife, Steve gathered a group to raise money for the Live Strong organization and participated in the Live Strong Challenge in Austin, Texas. The team had a goal of $1,000 and they exceeded that by raising $9,125.ised $9,125.
Mari likes to give back to the animal community by helping rescue animals and finding them new homes. She volunteers at both the Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue and the Dane County Humane Society where she can give the animals support and care before they are adopted.
Robert travels around the state speaking to children and adults about the dangers of gambling after his son died due to a gambling problem. He turned that sad incident into a way to help raise awareness of the many dangers associated with gambling.
Marilyn helps out her community by working on many community projects. Some of these projects include the Day of Caring, Paint-A-Thon, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, and highway clean up.
Robyn helps others by delivering meals to the elderly. She’s been doing it for more than five years and even stays to eat with one of the women she delivers meals to.
Christine volunteers at the Dane County Humane Society and logged more than 275 volunteer hours in 2007. She is very committed to the cause and to the health and well-being of the homeless dogs in the area.