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The Nelson Pleasanton Branch volunteers at a local wine festival

Taylor Andres: I Volunteer beCAUSE…

Posted On04/12/2019

ContributorKaila Prins

At Nelson, we care deeply about the communities where we live, work, and play. Through the Nelson beCAUSE program, everyone at Nelson, from individual contributors to community-based teams and even the company as a whole, is empowered to give back. We support the causes we care about through volunteerism, donation-matching, and corporate grants. In this series, you’ll learn more about Nelson’s philanthropic employees:  

Meet Taylor Andres, Executive Assistant. 

Taylor Andres, Nelson executive assistant

Tell us about your favorite charity or volunteer gig.

There are several charities and volunteer gigs that I hold close to my heart. Every year my family participates in the Sacramento Pancreatic Cancer walk to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer. We unfortunately lost my grandpa to this horrible disease, so we love to support researching a cure.

In high school I was part of a volunteer group that volunteered for several different organizations. Two of my favorite activities were the event we put on for the Love-A-Child Homeless Recovery Center called April’s Angels and when we would teach children from the local homeless shelter how to swim, called Jump In. I was in charge of Jump In during my senior year. We would provide the children with swim suits, towels, flip flops, and snacks, while spending the day teaching them how to swim at the pool. As someone who grew up spending their summer on a swim team, it was amazing to see these children relax, get to be children, and also gain a sense of empowerment as they learned to swim. April’s Angels for the Love-A-Child Homeless Recovery Center was the biggest event we put on for the year. Each high-school-age group was in charge of a different aspect of the event: games for kids, haircuts and manicures for the moms, repairs and gardening around the center, and a BBQ.

Do you have a particular act of charitable giving or volunteering that stands out to you?

There is one story that really resonates with me from my years of volunteering. One night around Christmas, my family and I (mom, dad and brother) decided that instead of giving each other presents that year, we were going to take the money we would’ve spent and use it to buy toys for children in need. My mom was able to get in contact with a safe home for women and children who had escaped abusive homes and arrange for a donation. As a family, we went to Target and spent about an hour picking out toys, clothes, and other fun presents for the children. We went home and wrapped them as a family and went and delivered them to the home. Seeing the children’s faces light up as they saw all the presents will forever be engraved in my mind and my heart. Being able to bring them some extra joy is what truly touches my heart and reminds me that bringing joy to others is why I love to volunteer. 

Tell us about your involvement with the Nelson beCAUSE program.

Through Nelson, two of the events I have participated in were working a table at the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival with the Pleasanton team and working at the warming tent during this year’s Make-A-Wish event.

I loved the Make-A-Wish event, as it showed a huge sense of community to not only work to beat a horrible disease, but also bring some joy to someone fighting this disease.

What is your “beCAUSE”?

My beCAUSE is the feeling I get when I do philanthropic work. My entire life. I have always wanted to give back to others and help those less fortunate. I am very lucky to have grown up with a roof over my head, a supportive family, and never having to worry about where my next meal is going to come from. There are so many people in the world who are not as fortunate. Giving back or doing something as little as giving a homeless child time to just be a child not only makes me feel like I am making a difference, but also helps to keep me grounded and humble.

You can learn more about the Nelson beCAUSE program here.