Wells Fargo Team Members Share in a Passion for Special Olympics

Nuzha Bukhari was always awed by the courage and strength of Special Olympics athletes. It was their determination, oomph and positive outlook on life that ignited her interest in Special Olympics Northern California & Nevada (SONC). With the support of her company, the regional vice president for Wells Fargo’s Mt. Diablo’s Regional Commercial Banking Office reached out to SONC and, shortly after her initial outreach, found herself all hands on deck serving as a board member.

“One of the reasons I love working for Wells Fargo is the company’s commitment to the communities in which we all live and work,” said Bukhari. “That includes supporting team members, like me, when we are passionate about supporting a certain organization.”

Since becoming active with the organization in 2015, Bukhari has helped raise awareness for SONC and its mission.  Recently, she helped orchestrate a collaboration in which Wells Fargo served as a Silver Sponsor for the 2017 SONC Summer Games. Not only did this sponsorship result in financial support, but it gave Wells Fargo team members throughout the region the opportunity to live out the company’s vision and values by volunteering at the Summer Games. And the response was noticeable with more than 40 Wells Fargo volunteers!

“Wells Fargo does not require its team members to volunteer, so all of the volunteers you see in the community are team members who have a deep-rooted passion for helping their community,” said Bukhari. “You’ll see us donning our red Wells Fargo Volunteer shirts at parades, our kids’ schools, shelters, and so many other places throughout the community.”

A few of the Wells Fargo team members at Summer Games included Kären Woodruff, Melanie Tillotson, and Andrea Barrios.

Woodruff and her daughter volunteered – along with other Wells Fargo team members – and interacted with athletes, coaches and families at Olympic Village. Located in between bocce and track and field events, and adjacent to the medal stand, they had an opportunity to meet a number of different delegations and share in the joy of the weekend.

“Being part of the community helps us connect in a more personal way,” explained Woodruff. “More than that, when we volunteer with teammates or family, we create memories and a strong sense of belonging.”

“The Special Olympics Summer Games is always a wonderful and worthy way to spend a weekend of service,” said Tillotson. “There were many memorable moments throughout the day – especially the pride of each of the athletes when sharing their medals with us.”

Barrios agrees.

“The air was filled with life and positivity,” she said. “Not a smile missing! It takes a village to affect change and I’m proud to say Wells Fargo is stepping up to the plate. I am thankful to work for an organization that supports its team members and their communities.”

While the sponsorship and volunteer efforts were a huge success, Bukhari emphasized that the support doesn’t just end there. The company has invested more than $45,000 to SONC programs in the last two years.

“The values of SONC resemble those of Wells Fargo,” said Bukhari. “We both believe in embracing and celebrating everyone’s uniqueness and the work that SONC has done with Unified Schools is nothing short of amazing,” she added.

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet, and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 271,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. For more information, visit www.wellsfargo.com

Interested in getting your company involved in supporting Special Olympics? Please contact Emily Allen at emilya@sonc.org