Volunteer of the Month: Gary Sievewright | December 2023
Each month Hunger Task Force is honored to recognize an individual or organization that goes above and beyond in their service to the organization.
Hunger Task Force relies on the help of more than 16,000 generous volunteers every year. From food sorting and building healthy food boxes for seniors to helping individuals shop the Mobile Market and harvesting at The Farm, volunteers help Hunger Task Force feed people today and support our work in ending future hunger.
Gary Sievewright, Senior Vice President at Raymond James & Associates and a member of Hunger Task Force’s Executive Council for eleven years, is a champion for anti-hunger work both personally and professionally. For 15 years, Gary has been a steadfast supporter of Hunger Task Force, an advocate for local corporate engagement and has helped create annual traditions to tackle hunger locally, specifically the festive Raymond James Home 4 The Holidays campaign each December since 2016. His passion for giving back to the community goes beyond a professional duty – it’s a way of life.
We couldn’t be happier to honor Gary Sievewright as the Volunteer of the Month for December 2023.
Q: How did you get involved with Hunger Task Force?
Gary: After moving to the area for work, I was looking for charitable organizations that I could get our business unit plugged into. I became familiar with Hunger Task Force and soon met Sherrie Tussler. We discussed ways my organization could sponsor an event and ended up creating “re-stocking the shelves” a month-long campaign in the month of January. The organization I was at was bought by Wells Fargo the following year, and my new team created the Wells Fargo $2 Day at the Wisconsin State Fair. (This opening day promotion and food drive continues today!) I left Wells Fargo in 2015 for Raymond James, and but wanted to continue my involvement and support of the food bank. In partnership with TMJ4, the Raymond James Home 4 the Holidays Virtual Food Drive began in 2019 to raise foods and funds in December. This program also continues today!
Q: What types of activities have you participated in?
Gary: In addition to helping support corporate engagement at Raymond James, I am an inaugural member of the Executive Council. I have also participated in many Hunger Task Force events, food drives and distributions along the way including: Match Madness MKE, Santa Train, food bin builds, food sorts and helping out at The Farm.
Q: Why is corporate engagement important to you, and how do you motivate your teams to get involved?
Gary: Corporate engagement is a notable part of our corporate culture at Raymond James, and giving back to the community has been a part of my professional and personal life for the last 30 years. I believe it is important to engage with your local community and to do your part. Our teams are motivated because they believe in that culture of service.
Q: What’s been your most memorable experience volunteering?
Gary: This is the 8th year of “Raymond James Home 4 the Holidays”, and I remember several years ago when we had the opportunity to pack 500 food bins with holiday staples and distribute these to dozens of local food pantries through a distribution at Hunger Task Force. We were outside for hours loading up the pantries’ trucks and vans pulling through the line, and it was bitter, bitter, cold. So cold that we will always remember that day. It was fun and worth braving the cold to make sure local families had a warm holiday meal.
Q: Why do you continue to pick Hunger Task Force?
Gary: I believe in the mission of Free & Local. I sit on the Executive Council, and my heart is in it. I would encourage more people to get involved. The need is great, and we could use your time and effort in various campaigns – and we need your generous donations!