Peppers, peaches, apples, blueberries, pumpkins, tomatoes ... you name the produce, and Construction Project Leader Mike Schwieterman probably grows it in his backyard garden.
And while Mike loves a good apple as much as the next person, he only keeps a nominal portion of what he grows. The majority of the bounty is donated to the Norwalk Area Food Bank, in his hometown of Norwalk. Mike and his wife share a seat on the board and dedicate several hours every month to not only providing fresh produce to the food bank, but also volunteering there, helping to feed the community where he lives and works. It’s these selfless actions that led to Mike’s nomination and being chosen as the 2018 Columbia Cares Volunteer of the Year.
“Not only is Mike a dedicated employee but he is truly a dedicated servant to his community,” said Dan Creekmur, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio. “His devotion to helping those in need in the Norwalk community is what makes him so deserving of this award.
Mike was presented (and surprised!) with the award in front of colleagues at an employee meeting. In Mike’s honor, Columbia Gas is donating $5,000 to the Norwalk Area Food Bank, whose mission is to help feed the community of Norwalk.
“Food, clothing and shelter come easy to many of us,” Mike said. “To others, it’s a daily challenge to meet those basic needs for themselves and their families. The various non-profits that work in the communities we serve are vital to quality of life for all of us. It’s comforting to know that Columbia Gas both encourages its employees to volunteer and provides financial incentives to do so. Thank you to all of my peers that fill the many voids that exist in our society. Your efforts are both meaningful and appreciated.”