We are all in this together and we are all here to help each other out.
You could say Disney World inspired Michael Bench to become one of the most committed volunteers in his community. The resort was offering a free ticket to the park for anybody who volunteered in the local community.
Michael had volunteered before in his life, but upon volunteering in conjunction with that Disney offer he suddenly found himself hooked on service to others. He found United Way Suncoast, which provided an array of volunteer opportunities he could choose from.
“Being able to give back to the community and society is important,” said Michael. “We are all in this together and we are here to help each other out.”
Through his variety of volunteer efforts, he has developed a passion for working with the elderly and children. He volunteers with Meals on Wheels regularly. He also started a volunteer event at his day job, Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Working with Ronald MacDonald House of Tampa, Michael coordinates a monthly trip to volunteer with his co-workers. He says in addition to doing good in the community, the trips also represent an opportunity for co-workers to bond and new employees to meet their colleagues.
Since 2010, Michael has given back some 1,400 volunteer hours and received multiple awards for his work, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, United Way Volunteer of the Year, and the Florida Governor’s Champions of Service award. In his spare time Michael enjoys deep sea fishing.