Comerica Perspective: Say thanks to Detroit by volunteering


We all have a personal responsibility to give back to our community. Lucky for us, opportunities surround us at all times and though volunteer numbers are increasing nationally, there is still a great need for volunteers to step up in Metro Detroit.

At Comerica Bank, we believe giving back helps unite us with the communities we serve. Our employees dedicate thousands of volunteer hours each year to area organizations through participation in walks that rally around a cause and community events that do everything from planting trees to fighting blight in our neighborhoods.

Our employees are encouraged to dedicate time during the year to give back to organizations that matter the most to them. In 2009, our Comerica Cares volunteer program launched a 10 x 10 challenge nationally to encourage the bank’s colleagues to reach a two-year goal of 100,000 volunteer hours by the end of 2010. We are proud to say we exceeded our goal and Comerica colleagues (with the help of friends and families) recorded more than 116,000 hours, equating to more than $2 million worth of volunteer time.

Participating in volunteer projects with local organizations gives us the opportunity to say thank you to the Metro Detroit community for helping our business to succeed. In turn, we hope our customers and employees see us not only as a place for people to bank and work, but as part of the community.

We can’t help everyone, but we can all do something to help those in need. We can’t end world hunger, but we can donate cans of food to the hungry. We can’t do away with financial burdens, but we can help an elderly person balance their checkbook. Small gestures may not mean much to us, but to a person in dire need, a little giving back can go a long way.

To step up your personal volunteer efforts in 2011, start by searching for an organization that is important to you and where your passions lie. As someone who loves to read, I find the hours I spend tutoring two preschool girls through the Detroit Public School Reading Corp to be one of the highlights of my week.

Each one of us can make an impact in the communities we serve just by taking a few hours each week, or even each year, to give back to those in need. Collectively, we can all make a difference in the cities and towns in which we live and work.
What will you do the next time you are called to say thanks and asked to do your part within your community?

Patricia A. McCann is a Comerica Bank vice president and national civic affairs manager.

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