"If not you, then who?"
Katie Persico could give a master class on how to make the most out of every minute of the day. By day, she's a content licensing lead in McGraw Hill's Columbus, Ohio, office. Outside of work, she's a blur of activity: helping to beautify a local garden, bundling diapers and pet food for neighbors in need, rounding up blankets for foster children, lining up backpacks and school supplies for young students in central Ohio. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Giving back has been a priority of Katie's since high school, when she signed up for a service-learning course that allowed her to spend afternoons volunteering in a hospital and an elementary school library. The instructor of the course, Bob Pierce, liked to say, "If not you, then who?" "He taught us that volunteering is something anybody can do in their spare time," she says. "He'd say, ‘Find something you're passionate about and keep doing it.'"
And that's exactly what Katie has been doing. When she has a free hour or two in the evenings or time on the weekends, chances are she's pitching in at one of the many organizations near and dear to her heart, such as Besa, Meals on Wheels, Columbus Diaper Coalition and the Junior League. She's also leading her office's Global Volunteer Week efforts; this year, the group is helping the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, where, coincidentally, her father-in-law also volunteers.
"Knowing that I'm helping somebody keeps me motivated," Katie says. "It might be only an hour or two of my time here and there, but that can make a difference in somebody having pet food for the next couple of weeks or diapers for the next month.
"There are a ton of worthy causes out there," she adds. "It's just finding the time, lacing up your sneakers and going."