Celebrating National Volunteer Month with FA Cares

By: Mia Simon, Sr. Communications Specialist

First Advantage supports its employees and their passion for helping others, advocacy, and civic engagement through the FA Cares program. FA Cares is the company’s employee volunteerism initiative, created for staff so they can engage with the philanthropic causes of their choice. Mariah Mellor, Sr. Director of Corporate Communications, believes FA Cares empowers staff to take the initiative to find the organizations that excite them.

“If there’s a cause team members are passionate about and they want to get involved, having a Volunteer Time-Off (VTO) program [in the U.S.] empowers them to go out into their communities and start making a difference,” she said. 

 “Maybe they felt they didn’t have the time and now this is giving them that extra push. Not only are they going to be doing something good for their community, but they’re also going to be representing their company – and I think there’s some pride in that,” Mellor said. 

Matt McGregor, Director of Non-Profit & Education Solutions, is passionate about driving community engagement. He suggests that those lucky enough to have employee volunteer opportunities at their companies should make use of their programs, such as FA Cares, to find their niche and start connecting. “From an advice perspective, it’s get involved, connect – connect with your community, connect with your peers, connect with your clients,” McGregor said.  

McGregor did just that during Collaborate, First Advantage’s annual customer conference. Held in Las Vegas, the event welcomed current and potential customers, employees, sponsors, and partners from several different markets. One of the conference highlights was an FA Cares table, sponsored by Aliro and Military Connected, featuring program resources and an opportunity for attendees to write letters to soldiers. First Advantage employees who didn’t attend the in-person conference also participated in the service activity. 

In total, more than 100 letters were written – a tremendous success given this was the first time FA Cares had a presence at Collaborate. It speaks to the appetite for community impact and engagement found throughout First Advantage’s ecosystem.  

Amanda Meagher, Customer Success Director, also helped oversee the FA Cares booth at the conference alongside McGregor and Ashley Guistizia, Project Manager. Meagher said she wanted to get involved with FA Cares as soon as she heard about it. She has taken her personal passions of volunteering and giving back and turned them into a part of First Advantage’s culture. Last year, she planned her first volunteering event with the company, and she’ll do it again this upcoming May.  

 “Volunteering has always been close to my heart and an integral part of my life. Having the opportunity to incorporate First Advantage is a huge bonus and I’m so happy that it’s just as important to the company I work for,” Meagher said.  

FA Cares leaders agree that the program is still evolving and welcome the idea of having more staff and customers join in to help shape its future. While the program is still U.S. based, the hope is to grow and expand. In the interim, First Advantage has joined the Global Mentorship Initiative, which is open to all employees. The program allows First Advantage employees to mentor students from underserved communities around the world. There’s a plethora of ways to get involved, so any time is a wonderful time to start!  

“We’re people – everybody needs a community,” said Elizabeth (Liz) Ryther, Talent Acquisition Manager. “This is just another way to be a part of a community and to network and to make a difference. Some days you’re going to be the one volunteering, and other days you’re going to be the one asking for help.”  

Diana Hornung, Executive Assistant to the COO, agrees. She helped procure the materials needed to ensure the FA Cares booth was successful at the conference. Though she didn’t attend in-person, her support was felt throughout the event, serving as a reminder that people can create impact in an array of capacities. “There’s just so many ways to give back to your community. My advice to others on how to start giving back – find what you like to do, and I bet there’s an organization out there that will fit your interests,” she said. 

Visit First Advantage’s YouTube channel to watch a Collaborate recap video, where many attendees engaged in First Advantage’s mission to make an impact through FA Cares.  

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