4 questions with a 5-star volunteer: Theresa Thomson, MVP
Theresa Thomson jumped into her first Mars Volunteer Program activity in her first week at Mars 15 years ago. Since then, she’s never shied away from lending a hand to help.
She’s planned lunches and outings to help animal rescues and Habitat for Humanity builds. She’s been critical to the success of Hackettstown’s Red Nose Day, Community Day, and, by far her favorite, Boo Bash. The past two Halloweens, with COVID protocols in place, she and her team were able to host successful drive-thru Boo Bashes beloved by kids and parents alike. Along with the help of the Shared Service team, she’s also safely kept alive the tradition of the Holiday Gift Giving Tree, Toy drive, Easter Basket drive and the Food/Pet drive.
We sat down with Theresa recently to find out what motivates her to give.
How old were you when you knew you were a volunteer at heart and how did you know?
Oh, very young, I loved saving animals and would bring home kittens and stray dogs often. As a family we often gave back to the community by helping with the town cleanup or handing out meals during the holidays. I knew early on that I had a passion to help others and enjoyed taking time out of a busy schedule to lend a hand.
What did you think when you first heard about the Mars Volunteer Program (MVP) at Mars?
I felt proud to be a Martian. There are so many opportunities to help others through the program. MVP makes it so easy to sign up as an individual or as a team.
Is it our job as a business to encourage volunteerism? Why (or why not)?
Absolutely! It’s my opinion that there’s always time to help others. Mars is a big influencer as a business. The actions we take to help others every day – people, pets and the planet – are supported by The Five Principles. And our Purpose ensures we don’t just talk about a better future but work towards a better future for all.
What would you say to someone who feels nervous about volunteering?
I would say let’s do it together! It will make you feel good whether you spend five minutes writing a letter to a first responder, donating a toy to a foster child or spending a day building houses for stray animals. Every little bit helps, and you’ll feel amazing that you made a difference or simply put a smile on someone’s face who was in need of support. Our Mars Purpose ‘Better Moments Make the World Smile’ has true meaning to me. Having the Freedom to volunteer for the community and to drive engagement at Mars has always been a passion. There are so many people in need suffering from losses due to the pandemic. COVID shouldn’t scare you off as a volunteer, people need our help now more than ever!