Trupanion Volunteers: How One Person’s Initiative Changed a Culture - The Trupanion Blog
Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company

Trupanion Volunteers: How One Person’s Initiative Changed a Culture


Our Trupanion volunteers (and the golden retriever Murphy) are passionate about helping the pets and people within the community.

On a daily basis, our Trupanion volunteers are driven to get out and help the people, places, and animals that inspire them within their community. As a part of our workplace culture, each Trupanion team member is allowed to take one paid day off a year to volunteer to an organization of their choosing.

Our Trupanion volunteer program was started over four years ago by an intern that had a vision for doing something more within her workplace and community.

With nearly 600 employees in the company who volunteer, that is an opportunity to make a big difference.

Trupanion team members truly have a  mission to help those around us, and it’s only just beginning.

We sat down with the Trupanion team member that started it all, now Senior Marketing Specialist, Customer Communications Kathryn Mailler on her initiative that sparked a movement within the Trupanion culture.

Trupanion volunteers: A workplace culture forever changed

Trupanion Volunteers, is a Trupanion volunteer program that was started by Kathryn Mailer in 2014.

Inspiration leads to the creation

Given the right support, a simple idea can inspire long-term change. An intern was passionate about the people and her pets around her workplace and wanted more.

“When I started at Trupanion, I was fresh out of school and quickly realized I was surrounded by other pet-passionate people, ” said Mailler. “The team already hosted an annual pet food drive and I had often heard stories from colleagues who fostered pets. A volunteer day seemed like a natural way to give our team a chance to reconnect with their interests outside of work and give back to the community at the same time.”

Passion for animals

Trupanion volunteers help out at an event at Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation.
Trupanion volunteers help at the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation.

The intern turned senior specialist has always had a drive and passion for pets. “In college, I spent a lot of time volunteering with an organization called PAWS of Ann Arbor. We’d bring therapy dogs to campus and volunteer regularly at a cat shelter and therapeutic riding center,” adds Mailler.

Naturally, every person in this office has a passion for animals.

Implementation of the Trupanion volunteer program

Trupanion volunteers help at Seattle Animal Shelter kitty hall event.

The launch of the program took just a matter of months.

“I had help from our people operations team to make sure the program worked well for everyone at the company. We tried to design the program to give everyone the opportunity to choose where and when they want to volunteer. While many of us choose animal-focused organizations each year, others want to work with health and environmental organizations, food banks, senior centers, and schools, “ points out Mailler.

Give back: why do companies volunteer

Trupanion volunteers dedicate a day at Pasado's Safe Haven.

Certainly, the concept of having a day off to give back to our community, on our own schedule, and to the organization of our choosing – breathes life into the company. Indeed it is about something more.

By taking the time to give back to your community – it can affect more than you can imagine.

By truly connecting with organizations, spending time with others, supporting animals, it brings joy and happiness to others.

Subsequently, one moment to connect could feel like a lifetime to someone that needs it most. Spreading kindness truly is the spirit of the season.

From inspiration to implementation: how to create a volunteer program in your workplace

Trupanion volunteers help with many different types of organizations in the community.

If you would like to start a volunteer program in your workplace:

  • Talk to your human resources or benefits department to see how a workplace volunteer program can be started
  • Set up a Meeting
  • Start a Conversation
  • Focus on the values your company and employees share

For Instance, “we launched the volunteer program in July 2014 and in the first five months, our team dedicated 270 hours to volunteer,” emphasizes Mailler.

From Pasado’s Safe Haven to helping those affected by the California wildfires, Trupanion volunteers are out in the community, giving back to those people, animals, and organizations that need it most.

“I’ve helped do everything from cleaning out a barnyard to building a duck pond. I’ll probably look for another animal-focused volunteer day next year. And it will definitely be outside,” says Mailler.

Where do you enjoy volunteering your time?


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