Decades of Giving

January 15, 2015 at 10:41 am

VolunteerWeek-winner-2014Erin Metters

Leaving a positive mark
For nearly three decades, Amway Independent Business Owner Erin Metters has been part of her local Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) chapter in Overland Park, Kansas. The leadership and service organization is committed to improving the lives of people in her community and state, throughout the nation, and around the world.

Founded in 1929, the organization now includes nearly 800 local and collegiate chapters with more than 10,000 members. Today, the group provides educational, leadership, and service programs that leave a positive mark on others.

Erin joined in 1988 and believes that her drive to give has only increased over the years. “When you think outside of yourself and help someone else, it gives you a great feeling,” says Erin. “It’s good to not always focus on yourself and your problems.”

Diverse projects
The list of projects and people impacted by Erin’s local ESA chapter is impressive: It includes Easter Seals disability services, Hope for Heroes military support, Warm Welcome baby blanket donations, and many more.

Erin says that one of the most impactful and personally fulfilling projects is the organization’s involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Nationally, ESA has raised more than $160 million in support. Locally, the Overland Park chapter helps out with the St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway, during which people buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a new home. “The Dream Home is a big effort,” says Erin. “We sell tickets and staff the home when it’s open for viewing. We end up talking to thousands of people who tour the property, explaining the amenities.” Each year, the chapter raises between $20,000 and $30,000.

The chapter’s other work is equally meaningful – they make hats for the homeless and cooling neck wraps for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They provide gift-wrapping services to local retailers to raise charitable funds during the holiday season. They also support organizations like Temporary Lodging for Children, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and Care of Poor People.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Erin says. “It breaks your heart to see how many people are hurting, but each person doing a little makes a big impact when you multiply it by hundreds.”

The power to accomplish more
Erin meets with other ESA members twice each month – once for a service project and once for a social gathering. Together the group swaps stories, talks about upcoming projects, and identifies new opportunities for them to pursue.

“It’s a little bit like being an IBO,” says Erin. “Teamwork can make a very big difference. You can accomplish more.”

Erin mentions one more similarity: “The nice thing about Amway IBOs is that they’re such positive people, and you leave them feeling so good. That’s how members of ESA are, too. Spending time with these people doing good work is such a happy, uplifting experience.”

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