(May 19, 2011) — Webster’s two Outstanding Volunteers for 2010 both believe that, more than anything else, children need time and attention from adult role models if they are to develop into self-sufficient, directed and confident members of a community.
Xana Dolan (right photo), a vice president in Webster’s financial intelligence unit in New Britain, Conn., was selected for her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut. And Kathleen Reilly (left photo), a small business sales specialist based in Danbury, Conn., was selected for her work with the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Council in New York.
Each year, Webster’s Employee Volunteer Recognition Program honors an Outstanding Volunteer who is a role model for his or her exceptional volunteer efforts that exemplify the “giving of ourselves in the communities we serve” tenet of The Webster Way and sets an example for colleagues to follow. Nominations are reviewed by a committee of Webster employees, and for the first time this year, their scoring revealed a tie, which resulted in two Outstanding Volunteers. As part of the awards, Webster is donating $750 to both the Girl Scouts and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Dolan, a Wallingford, Conn., resident, has been a Big Sister to a 9-year-old girl for two years. Her Little Sister has a twin who is severely autistic and an older brother who has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is also in the autism spectrum. Dolan and her Little Sister spend time together every other weekend for three to five hours at a time. They’ve attended a Yankees game, gone bowling, seen movies, gone hiking, walk Dolan’s dog and visited town fairs and other events.
Ellen Tracy, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Southwestern Connecticut, said Dolan demonstrated a sense of self-confidence and approachability during her initial interview with the organization. “Her answers were thoughtful and revealed flexibility, a key quality we prefer in our volunteers,” she said. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege having Xana serve in the BBBS program. She stands out from our volunteers and is a wonderful asset to our program. Any work that receives Xana’s commitment will experience true dedication, competency and passion with an infinite positive attitude.”
Kathleen Reilly is not only a troop leader for Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Council, which serves 32,000 girls with 15,000 adult volunteers in seven counties in the lower Hudson River valley in New York, but the Somers, N.Y. resident also manages community activities for 55 sister troops in the Somers area that include 565 Girl Scouts.
“She always has a smile on her face,” said Patricia Elwell, field manager with Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson who works with Reilly and eight other community directors in Westchester County. “She knows how to get answers and if she doesn’t know the answers, she’s not afraid to admit it and find them. She understands that the people she works with are volunteers and how to deliver the support that volunteers need in order to feel comfortable in the job and to make them feel appreciated. She truly understands what needs to be done to make a large volunteer organization like this work.”