Volunteering just brings joy to my life. I honestly think we are all capable of much more than we are think we are, we just need a nudge to volunteer. Plus you meet the nicest folks you’ll ever meet in your life.
Sarah Canepa Bang loves to volunteer. She is currently the Chair of the National Credit Unions for Kids Advisory Board for Children's Miracle Network.The organization raises more than $11 million a year for 140 children's hospitals around the country.
Sarah has been a passionate supporter of the Credit Unions for Kids program since its inception. In the early 1990s she formalized the relationship between Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Credit Unions for Kids; the program is now the third largest contributor to CMNH nationally. She serves on the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Board of Governors and is Chairman of the Credit Unions for Kids Advisory Board.
Cabot first honored Sarah on the 2017 Celebrity Cruise in recognition of the role that credit unions play across the country: Credit Unions collectively are the third largest donor to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,after Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Sarah is a frequent speaker at national credit union events on leadership and emerging technologies. She has been Bravo channel’s in-studio expert on financial services technology. She has been a faculty member of the Western Intermediate Banking School, the Oregon Bankers’ Directors’ College and Portland State University.
In February 2014, Sarah won the Herb Wegner Individual Achievement award from the National Credit Union Foundation. This is one of the highest honors in the Credit Union Movement with fewer than 25 recipients in its 30-year history.
“I am also Vice Chair of Play It Forward, a Northwest organization which gives under-served kids music lessons and pianos and other instruments,” Sarah said. “Last year we helped a High School in Houston by delivering over $180,000 in pianos and instruments to their music program. I also volunteer with the Vancouver Library Foundation -- we are currently raising money for a new library in Washougal, Washington.”
Sarah’s passion for volunteering seems limitless. In fact, she defines herself as a multi-purpose volunteer.
“If the project helps kids, I'm there,” she said. “I think the best part of volunteering is meeting other volunteers. My husband Steven usually volunteers with me, so the added benefit is that I get to spend more time with him while doing meaningful work.”
“I am also a founding volunteer with the Global Women's Leadership Network. This group helps women in 50+ countries grow their leadership skills and business acumen. It is amazing what some of these women have been able to do for their communities with just a little support from us.
When did Sarah begin volunteering? “It all started when I was a kid,” Sarah said. “I grew up in Baraboo, Wisconsin and my parents helped start the Alliance for the Mentally Ill (it had a different name) back in the 60s. My dad also started the local Arts Association. Both organizations are still going strong today,” she says with pride. “My first volunteer activity (aside from helping my parents) was a Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser. I think I was about 10 years old and I put together a kids' carnival. I think we raised $35! That’s all it took, I was hooked!
And what inspires her to volunteer? “For the life of me, I can't answer that question,” she said. “It's like asking me why it's important to eat. It is so ingrained in my family's DNA that I don't need a reason. It's just something you do.”
A lover of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, Sarah says she has a bit of a secret passion, Dancing!
“I started Sunday Night Dance Camp to give my friends and new friends something fun to look forward to (and some exercise) on Sunday nights,” Sarah said. “We use professional choreographers, practice for a few weeks, then I make a dance video. It is a blast! I'm a terrible dancer, but I love doing it!”
Cabot honored Alburgh, VT Children’s Miracle Network volunteers Steven and Romona Reed with a Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise in 2017.
Sarah joins us as a 2019 Alumnus and will be accompanied by her husband Steven.