● Ford Credit Process Review Specialist
● 20-year Ford Employee
● Lifelong Volunteer
I have been volunteering for as long as I can remember. My mom worked on Peterson Air Force Base here in Colorado, and I would go to work with her during the summer. I learned a bunch of life skills by volunteering in the different departments of her building—helping with postal services, ticket sales, performing and serving at dinner theaters, custom framing, silk screening, balloon art—and even cleaning the building. When I was in elementary school, I volunteered helping special needs kids, which continued into middle school and high school."
As an adult, Corrina Dionne gravitated to the Marian House Kitchen in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was a natural progression from her extensive volunteer experience during school.
When she joined Ford in 2000, she was happy to learn that her new employer supported Marian House as an employee volunteer location.
"I started volunteering with Marian House before I went to Ford," Dionne said. "I make afghans and donate about 20 a year. I also volunteered for their jobs programs and donated used work attire and office supplies that I collected from my friends and family. When I joined Ford and found out they also volunteered with Marian House, it was an easy transition."
Dionne signed up to organize Ford volunteer events at the soup kitchen and to help with grant writing proposals. As a nonprofit, Marian House seeks financial support from an array of public, private and corporate entities. Dionne was quick to offer her writing and organizational talents.
The Marian House Kitchen is seemingly always on Dionne's mind—especially when she sees food that's about to go to waste.
"Whenever we have extra food from functions like my kids' school Parent Teacher Association or when we have leftover food at home, we drive it down there," she said.
As so many well-intentioned people experience, Dionne has gone through a metamorphosis of sorts. Her early assumptions about people have been shot down, time and time again.
"I have sat down with many people at the Marian House and talked about the reasons they are there. It was eye-opening," she said. "Some are homeless by choice, which surprised me. I realized I cannot assume I know what's best for people.
"Some people are there due to just one bad choice or one bad situation. And some are there due to mental health issues that they are unable to resolve due to financial or insurance issues. Whatever their story, I always learn something from these good people. And it always touches my heart."
Dionne's commitment to volunteering is vast and varied. In addition to Marian House, she is supports the Rocky Mountain chapter of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and participates in events for the Susan G. Komen organization.
For all she does, Dionne remains rather modest. It's clear that talking about herself is not something that comes naturally.
"It's just my way," she said. "I have always done it. I probably always will.
Managed by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Ford Volunteer Corps is a global network of Ford employees and retirees who have contributed more than 1.7 million volunteer hours in community service projects since 2005. To celebrate 15 years of serving communities around the world, Ford Fund is recognizing 15 Ford Volunteer Corps All Stars—Ford employees who are dedicated to community service, and go above and beyond in their efforts to help people in need.