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Community service and volunteering might look different in the age of COVID-19, but Ardent remains committed to encouraging employees to prioritize community engagement and service.

Carrie VanderMallie, an Ardent project manager, recently took advantage of Ardent’s volunteer policy to take time out to creatively serve an important community cause: sewing masks to donate to her son’s school and a nearby after-school program.

We chatted with Carrie about her service day and why taking time to stay connected to the needs of her community is important.


What motivated you to rearrange your work schedule and make time for community service?

I wanted to keep my son and his classmates safe and encourage mask wearing. If the kids are proud of their masks, and they are comfortable, they may not mind wearing them for 8+ hours each day. My neighbor teaches… and said she would love to have extras (should someone forget theirs at home, they don’t have one, or theirs gets dirty and needs to be replaced). After I made a few, she said she volunteered at a program at the Pines [an after-school program], and some of the kids there don’t have masks. I thought they would like the popular characters and colorful patterns that my son and his classmates liked. The characters and colors are another way the kids can express their personalities and interests.

What type of service are you thinking about in the future?

This was to help an immediate need and I will continue to make them as long as they are needed. I think kids will continue to need new masks throughout the school year to keep them safe and in school in person. Masks will need to be replaced as they break, are lost, or are outgrown.

What does it mean for you to work for a company that offers service hours?

It meant a lot. I was able to take time during my regularly busy work day to do something to help keep my son and his classmates safer. Ardent has always been flexible and understanding with any family activities, so it was amazing they were current with the needs of the times and recognized mask making as a volunteer activity. You don’t need to go out and be in public (especially in today’s climate) to do good for the community. I am so happy to be part of a company that recognizes all the ways good can be done within a community, and fully supports them.


We're excited to have a team of passionate, dedicated people who are as excited about helping create and connect clients with the right learning solutions as they are to creating better communities. 


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