It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the time of year when people across the globe spread holiday cheer with love, gifts and kindness. Yet for Terrence Coleman, a fraud agent who has been with PayPal for six years, the season for giving lasts all year.
Coleman credits his parents for inspiring him to help other people. His passion for his community led him to organizations such as Head Start, Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children and eventually, to the eBay Foundation’s GIVE Team program, which gives employees a chance to be champions in their community. GIVE teams in various eBay and PayPal offices are able to help their community with grants and by connecting employees with volunteer opportunities. “The local team is fantastic,” said Tina Volpe, co-chairperson of the Omaha GIVE Team. “We have employees who are actively involved in the planning and grant selection process, and others who simply enjoy donating their time as volunteers. Terrence is a great example of the community spirit that Omaha PayPalians possess. His involvement in the community and passion for the GIVE Team is contagious.”
You get what you give
Working with the eBay Foundation, Coleman and other Omaha GIVE Team members have granted $180,000 to local organizations in the last two years, spent an impressive amount of time volunteering and connected with thousands in their local community. In addition, they have represented eBay Foundation during check presentations, invited grant recipients to tour the PayPal campus and, this fall, they hosted the participants of Project Manhood, a mentoring and leadership program for at-risk youth, from Central Park Elementary.
According to Coleman, working on the GIVE Team is extremely satisfying. “Once you have looked into the face of a child, parent or school administrator and you see how your efforts can help a community, the passion to do more is immeasurable. It really hits home when you visit with the people you’ve helped and you realize the impact your time and your support has in their lives. “
Earlier this year, Coleman and his fellow PayPal volunteers had an opportunity to do just that. They visited Omaha’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and hosted a reading party for the school’s first grade students. This visit, Coleman claimed, was one of the most rewarding visits since he became involved in the GIVE Team program. “It was such great collaborative effort with so many PayPal volunteers, community leaders and Omaha public school officials. The program was just as powerful for the families, children and schools involved as it was for all of us.”
Granting wishes and creating opportunities
Coleman’s passion for his community has helped secure over $25,000 dollars in eBay Foundation grant funds given to community-based programs, agencies and organizations in Omaha and the surrounding areas. In the last several years, he has successfully nominated three different organizations, including Omega Psi Phi’s Beta Upsilon Chapter, 100 Black Men of Omaha and the New Community Development Corporation. He has also provided computer literacy training to small business owners, serves on the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children, serves on a sub-committee of the Board of Directors for Centris Federal Credit Union, is a member of Heartland Blueprint, sits on the Diversity Committee for the Human Resources Association of the Midlands, serves on the Personnel Board for the City of Omaha Mayor’s Office and is on the planning committee for the Omaha Riverfront Jazz and Blues Festival. Talk about involvement!
While Coleman makes a conscious effort to get others involved by building relationships, educating people about opportunities and supporting programs, he’s most excited about the possibilities for the Omaha GIVE Team. “What excites me is that many PayPal co-workers and volunteers are looking for the opportunity to GIVE more in the future.”