Volunteer time off not just another day at the office for these workers

It doesn’t sound like something an auto lender’s employees would do on a regular work day.

But there they were, Santander Consumer USA (SC) Associates painting murals, wooden fences and flower pots and planting flowers at J.P. Starks Elementary School in Dallas recently.

“It’s just a great opportunity to be here to give back,” said Brandon D., who once attended the school, and was one of 50 volunteers who used volunteer paid time off to help with the projects.

“You never want to forget where you come from,” he said. “Then you see the smiles on these children’s faces when you come in, and they can relate to you, and they see this person came from where I grew up, and he’s in a better place right now.”


Santander Consumer volunteers share hearts with young and old

Starks is among the schools supported by Santander Consumer USA Foundation through a national grant to the CityYear program comprising volunteers who tutor students who need help.

Before the work started, the volunteers had breakfast, heard from the “purple pearls” cheer group and toured the school, meeting some of the more than 300 students who attend Starks.

Lynette Howard, principal at Sparks, said the school was “blessed and thankful” for the volunteers.

She was not alone in seeing a positive impact.

“I think [meeting the students] is going to really make them love the school and get deeply involved, and we’re really excited about that,” said Alex Enriquez, executive director of CityYear Dallas.

The volunteers appreciated the opportunity to give back.

“It says a lot about the company and about our leadership that they care enough not only about us as Associates, [but] they want to see this community succeed,” said Yolanda A., another SC volunteer. “They want to see these communities elevate and be something to be proud of.”

Santander Consumer’s VPTO program provides more than 5,000 Associates up to two days off per year to donate time and energy to charitable organizations in their communities.

Last year SC Associates spent nearly 11,000 hours volunteering through the VPTO program.

Volunteers working
SC volunteers teamed up to help Starks Elementary School.
Volunteers painting
Volunteer efforts included painting indoor spaces at Starks.
Volunteers planting
SC Associates formed a planting brigade.
Volunteers hugging
CityYear volunteers showed their appreciation for the SC volunteers.

More Like This

Infographic: 10 reasons we love a truck

Infographic: 10 reasons we love a truck

The numbers for the March auto sales came out and things are looking up. Manufacturers such as Honda, Volkswagen, Chrysler, GM, Ford and others saw increases in year over year new car and truck sales. One vehicle line in particular,…

Do your homework before shopping for a new car or truck

Do your homework before shopping for a new car or truck

Going car or truck shopping without doing your homework is like, well, taking a team into the big game without a plan. It’s like driving across the country without a map – or GPS device. We were reminded of this…

What would Santa drive?

What would Santa drive in 2018 instead of his old-fashioned sleigh?

It’s a question begging for an answer. What would Santa drive in 2018 instead of his old-fashioned, reindeer-drawn sleigh? Of course, Mercedes-Benz “Winter Event” television commercial, “Pit Stop,” suggests that Santa would be driving a red Mercedes sedan, drawn by…