What began as a simple clothing donation has turned into a passionate volunteer leadership role for Abby Mocek, who will assume chairmanship of the Hope House board of directors next fall.
"Every single time I hear about a family that's torn apart or a child that's in an environment of abuse, I know I'm doing the right thing in serving this organization," said Mocek, treasury management officer at BOK Financial®.
Since 1983, Hope House has worked to break the cycle of domestic violence by providing safe refuge and supportive services that educate and empower those impacted by domestic violence in the Kansas City metro area.
Upon joining BOK Financial as a banking center manager, Mocek was seeking an opportunity to get involved in the local community. As she considered a variety of organizations, Hope House stood out because of its powerful mission, but also because of personal experience. "Domestic violence doesn't discriminate," she said.
She quickly got involved with the junior board, helping to transform that group into the emerging leaders board, which now serves to engage new volunteer leaders and create a pipeline for future organizational leadership.
"We can't fully serve our community's financial services needs without being engaged and supporting organizations that are tackling challenges in our community each day," Mocek said.
In the 10 years that she's been involved with Hope House, Mocek has served multiple board terms and feels that volunteer leadership is a very big responsibility. "Choosing the right individuals with the appropriate skillset to be engaged on a nonprofit board is a big part of the organization's success," she said. "It's important to identify a diverse group with varying areas of expertise and ensure representation of the clients being served."
A passion to serve
Volunteer leadership comes in a variety of forms. Having participated in dance growing up, Molly Kerr, BOK Financial private wealth market leader, is passionate about introducing underserved children and communities to the arts. As a member of the Kansas City Ballet business council, she is proud to support the Ballet's Reach Out And Dance (R.O.A.D.) program.
For more than 60 years, the Kansas City Ballet has aimed to inspire and engage through beauty, power and passion of dance. But they also do so much more, reaching more than 20,000 students and adults through community engagement and education programs each year. The R.O.A.D. Residency program works to enhance life skills, incorporates academic curriculum from classrooms, and encourages confidence, discipline and critical thinking—all important life skills.
"Art is not always available in schools. I'm so glad that we're able to support the R.O.A.D. program and bring the arts to students that may not have access," Kerr said. "This program has been making a difference in underserved communities for more than 20 years."
All about giving back
Both employees are passionate about sharing expertise and connections to help community organizations accomplish their goals.
"I like to think of board service like a diversified tool," Kerr said. "Being involved with different organizations allows me, and our company, to serve a variety of different constituents."
In addition to the Ballet, Kerr serves as a volunteer board member for Warriors Ascent, a group that supports veterans and first responders; Happy Bottoms, a diaper bank that helps low-income families access needed supplies and avoid having to choose between food and diapers for their young children; and SevenDays, an organization that aims to spread kindness and combat hate crimes.
"It is really a pleasure to be involved with these organizations," she said. "And, I'm so happy to work for a company that supports and encourages that service to local nonprofits."
Mocek is proud to share her passion for volunteerism with those closest to her.
"My involvement with Hope House has had a significant impact on my life, but one of the most rewarding aspects is the fact that it has influenced my family in ways I can't even quantify," Mocek said. "Seeing a commitment to volunteerism modeled early in life will make a difference to my children for the rest of their lives."
In addition to board service, BOK Financial has supported Hope House since 2013 through philanthropic donations. "I feel very proud to work for an organization that not only encourages community involvement by employees, but also provides financial support," Mocek said.
Learn more about BOK Financial's community involvement in their Community Report.