Stephanie Ray (back row, third from left) leads a team of volunteers at MANNA during our annual United Way Days of Caring event.
Stephanie Ray, Business Specialist, Risk Analytics
Years on the Blue Crew Advisory Board: 2
Stephanie Ray was inspired to begin volunteering when she witnessed the incredible impact MANNA had on a dear friend’s life.
Her friend received nourishing meal deliveries from MANNA while she was ill, and what particularly impressed Stephanie was the personal care that went into making her friend feel special — like getting a cake on her birthday and Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.
It sparked Stephanie’s desire to give back.
Someone is Fed, Someone is Happy
After volunteering at MANNA with the Blue Crew just one time, Stephanie discovered the experience nourished her spirit.
She now leads the monthly Blue Crew project at MANNA and is passionate about helping people get the nutrition they need during a difficult time. “I just want to know someone is fed, and someone is happy,” she says.
Chopping Onions, Building Friendships
MANNA volunteers work together to prepare and package meals for delivery. Stephanie says chopping onions together has a unique way of unifying people from all levels of the company and fostering a special rapport between coworkers and their family members, who volunteer at MANNA and many other Blue Crew volunteer projects.
Sometimes the volunteers listen to music while they’re preparing and packaging meals, and sometimes they don’t, but Stephanie says no matter what, their conversations are always spirited.
More Than a Health Insurance Company — We Give
Stephanie admits she almost didn’t submit her application for a spot on the Blue Crew advisory board, but her coworkers believed in her leadership ability and encouraged her to apply — so she did!
She appreciates the opportunity to help choose the projects the Blue Crew supports and seeing the larger impact the company has in the community. In addition to continuing her work at MANNA, she’d like to help feed more people by volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.
“We’re so much more than just a health insurance company,” she says. “We give.”