Earlier this month, Thomson Reuters employees volunteered at YWCA St. Paul, supporting the organization’s efforts to provide safe, affordable housing units for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The volunteers painted housing units and revamped a playground, weeding and laying new mulch. They received paid time-off for their service through the Thomson Reuters community giving and employee volunteer program, which provides employees with two paid volunteer days each year.

Adam Gruenewald, senior content specialist and 2021 chair of the Thomson Reuters Global Volunteer Network for the Minneapolis-St. Paul campus, and Charles Bradley, Thomson Reuters senior content special II and YWCA St. Paul board member, coordinated the event with Michelle Lynn Daniel, director of Development at YWCA St. Paul.

“Charles first brought the idea of helping out YWCA St. Paul almost two years ago,” Gruenewald said. “Our efforts were delayed, initially due to the weather and then the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Charles and Michelle kept lines of communication open and the three of us were able to organize the productive and fun event.”

Their plan enabled Thomson Reuters volunteers to support YWCA St. Paul’s range of housing programs, which combines affordable housing with customized support services to help participants stabilize their lives, build new skills, connect to community and secure a future of safe, stable housing.

YWCA St. Paul thanked volunteers for their work. “Without the dedication and support of strong community partnerships, like Thomson Reuters, we would not be able to provide the scope of valuable resources to our participants,” Daniel said. “Thank you to Thomson Reuters for your commitment to making the community a better place.”

“It was great to see the immediate impacts volunteers were able to make in a relatively short time,” Gruenewald said. “We were able to paint the interior of three different housing units as well as totally revamp a small playground. As the YWCA St. Paul has one maintenance person taking care of a few different locations, our efforts were highly appreciated. We hope to continue working with YWCA St. Paul and likely will return to them soon,” Gruenewald said.

The volunteers’ efforts earned a $1,000 Community Champion grant to support the YWCA St. Paul. Through its Community Champion grants program, Thomson Reuters offers employees an opportunity to have their group volunteer efforts recognized and supported through corporate grants.

Gruenewald shared why volunteering is important to him. “In addition to giving back to the community, I find myself learning more about myself and connecting with others. Plus, these activities are a lot of fun and a great way to spend my free time. While I usually have some hesitation, other volunteers and organization representatives are really helpful along the way.”

“I always remind folks that the YWCA is more than just health club,” Bradley noted. “My experience as a board member has been great. I never pass up a chance to give back to my hometown community and support the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. I know for a fact the residents in YWCA housing appreciate the efforts of Thomson Reuters volunteers.”

Read about Thomson Reuters social impact work and how the company is serving communities in need.