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Meet Star Volunteer, Katie Powers

Katie Powers, Event Coordinator at Datto, sat down with us to discuss her incredible involvement with Filling in the Blanks over the past year. Not only has Katie stepped up to fight childhood hunger with us but she has brought her team along with her! Her involvement with us over the past year has enabled us to grow in ways we didn't think were possible.

Katie, thank you for meeting with us! Can you tell us about you, where did you grow up, go to school and live now? Locally here in CT? I grew up in Westchester County and I attended the Katonah-Lewisboro School district. I then went on to attend college at SUNY Plattsburgh. Now I currently live in Norwalk CT! Tell us a little bit about your job, what do you do?  I work at Datto, which is a data backup and disaster recovery company that sells to Managed Service Providers in the channel. I am an internal Events Coordinator as well as the Chair of our Charity Committee. I assist with internal events including corporate events for employees, grand opening parties & award trips alongside my charitable planning for our local community initiatives.  Tell us a little about Datto, how many people do they employ? How long have they been around? Where is Datto based out of? Currently we employee a total of 1,551 people across 27 locations and 27 departments around the world. Our headquarters is in Norwalk CT where we employee 465 employees currently. I have been at Datto for 4 years and it has been a wonderful opportunity that has allowed me to expand my charitable engagement along side bettering my skills as an event coordinator & handling new tasks as they head my way! 

Why does Datto feel so strongly about community work? What is Datto's view on community partnerships and volunteering within the community?  Datto encourages employees to work together to support our local communities by volunteering, sponsoring events & participating in fundraising endeavors together for our local charities. We want to improve the communities we live in & help those living beside us in our communities by being the helping hand they need. Datto creates volunteer opportunities with local charities, including our packing events at Filling in the Blanks as well as the Food & Fun Program at Odyssey.

What does food insecurity mean to you?  Luckily I grew up in a home that was food secure. When I was a child I remember my Grandma & Grandpa taking me to the Scotts Corners Grocery store to help with the the food drive for the community center. I learned how people in our community needed help & people would buy the requested items off the list for charity. We would hand out the bags as people went in and collected them as they came back out. I remember thinking that we were doing something important. This idea of giving has stuck with me into adulthood & I enjoy helping out where I can. We have run annual food drives as well as a school supply drive which have been greatly successful at Datto. Being able to bring things that important to me in my personal life to share with people has been very special.  How did you first get involved with Filling in the Blanks? and how long have you been working with FIB? Our employee Jina referred me to Filling in The Blanks and suggested that we get involved. To me it was an easy decision to make that we would get involved. We have now had 5 successful packing sessions since 2018 and have been attending Odyssey Pre-School monthly for Food & Fun since last October. We are working on getting our next set of packing dates scheduled as our team loves attending FIB & has requested to go back again to volunteer this Spring! We are looking forward to continuing our involvement and helping with the 5K for 2019!  What do you do to help FITB and their mission? Our team loves to volunteer at FIB and has helped by packing food bags, attending Food & Fun to hand out bags as well as engage with kids, & donated financially to help purchase food for the bags last year. We think that helping local kids in need by providing food & interacting with them by playing gym games or reading a book together to brighten their day makes a difference. We do our best to inform our employees of the hardship some kids in our community face and may not being going home to a warm meal over the weekend. We want to help end child hood hunger in our community alongside FIB. Why have you been so generous to FIB? It is hard not be. When you know that your donation & time is benefiting kids in the community by providing them food for the weekend & ensuring they can worry less about their next meal, that is worth it. I don't think that many people realize how many kids rely on this program in our community and the impact it makes for their quality of life. Being able to be the helping hand to ensure these kids have what they need to eat over the weekend is worth everything we give.  What would you like to see in the future for your community/the areas that FIB serves? I hope that the group of supporters grows for FIB to help. I know for me it is important to make people aware that we have people in need in our community. We donate to the open door shelter when we are able to after our Free Friday lunch and are able to give unopened food trays from our caterer to them to serve to the local community. I think that it would be nice to see more of these type of shelters that allow more people to come in and have a hot meal unasked. I think if more people who are able to donate food did, we could make a dent in the hunger in our community! 



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