Scoular drives strong volunteer culture among employees

Scoular employees package rice at an Omaha food bank.

Picture of Jen Beck

Jen Beck

Sr. Brand Marketing Associate

April 25, 2024

In Guadalajara, Mexico, Scoular employees host a holiday party for a local orphanage.

Across the globe, in Singapore, another employee mentors a 6-year-old whose parents are incarcerated.

And in Granite Bay, California, a Scoular team combats hunger and homelessness at a local food pantry.

Volunteerism has a global impact, and so do Scoular employees. Volunteering in our communities has been engrained into our culture since the beginning. In recent years, we’ve expanded our volunteer opportunities for employees through new community partners with the Scoular Foundation, four employee resource groups, and networking events and team meetings. We’ve also fully deployed a policy that provides every employee with eight hours of paid volunteer time per year.

To mark National Volunteer Month in April, we’re spotlighting five Scoular employees who choose compassionate volunteerism and servant leadership to create change and improve their communities.

Sprinkling joy with custom cakes

Kate Wadman of Minneapolis bakes cakes and cookies for families impacted by the critical illness of a child or youth overcoming adversity. Through the non-profit Icing Smiles and For Goodness Cakes, her custom confectionaries are delivered for birthdays, graduations, treatment milestones and youth transitioning out of foster care.

Kate recently webbed together a chocolate Spider-Man cake with fudge buttercream, a recipe only she and Spider-Man know. The marshmallow webs bond the special occasion of this 8-year-old birthday and the completion of his yearlong chemo treatment.

Some recipients have never experienced the joy of a personalized birthday cake. Others have endured significant pain in their short lives. “My hope in providing these treats is to brighten their day and give them something to smile about,” says Wadman. “To have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life is an enriching and refreshing experience.”


Customized cake for Icing Smiles, a non-profit in Minneapolis.

Building homes and friendships

Apollo Gichema describes volunteerism as fun, educational and the cornerstone of most of his weekends. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. “From framing walls to installing roofing, every swing of the hammer brings us closer to the goal of providing a stable foundation for families to thrive,” he says.

Habitat for Humanity is driven by volunteers who construct homes from the ground up, and each week staff and volunteers build more than houses. “I’ve been able to connect with people from different backgrounds and organizations, and our friendships have evolved from circular saws and dust to friendships,” Gichema adds.

Apollo Gichema (at right) volunteering at Habitat for Humanity.

Passing the playbook for student athletes

Having kicked off her volunteerism as a soccer coach through the University of Saskatchewan, Codi Ens passes athleticism and expertise to coaching both women’s athletics and her son’s soccer squad. She also rallies for the community council, raising money for school fundraisers. The new community playground is her latest win.

She still has a passion for women athletes. As a guest coach and mentor, she helps guide student athletes through the balance of academics, sports, and life. “Volunteering is fulfilling, and it truly takes a team effort. You don’t fully experience the spirit of community without volunteers. I’ve been lucky to be influenced by remarkable volunteers and now aim to pour that support into others.”

Connecting through camping and s’mores

For years, Jerry Grise has volunteered with the Cub Scouts, which offers a two-fold benefit to this lifelong nature enthusiast. “Serving as Cub Master for my son’s group allows me to make memories with my family, but I’m also able to bring education and service to the community as a leader to 40 additional kids.”

As the warmer days approach, Jerry prepares for weekend camping trips, campfire building lessons, and the camaraderie of sharing a s’more with the Scouts. He also volunteers for the event committee for the town of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, and is a Disaster Response Team member for the American Red Cross.

Jerry Grise with a Cub Scout.

Dressing families for success

Kilie Ambrose has served 300 volunteer hours over the last year for the Junior Service League of DeLand in Florida. The league supports women, children and families through service projects, grants and emergency relief efforts. The volunteers collect holiday gifts for kids, pack duffel bags for children entering foster care, and plan Christmas parties for the Boys and Girls Club.

During “Dress for Success,” Kilie and a family combed the stores for the best deals on back-to-school clothing and found shiny new sneakers and pieces a 7-year-old could match with multiple outfits. “A few weeks later, she and her friends greeted me with warm hugs at the Boys and Girls Club Christmas party, proudly wearing the clothes we had chosen together,” Kilie says. “Their gratitude is a reminder of the profound impact of volunteering.”

Kilie Ambrose (at back, right) at a Christmas Party for the Boys and Girls Club.