With a lengthy list of volunteer efforts, Grandstaff wins the 2022 Philanthropist of the Year Award
Jessica Grandstaff, Regional Coach, Des Moines, was honored as the winner of BH’s 2022 Philanthropist of the Year Award at BH’s 2023 EVOLVE Leadership Conference in May.
BH teams and team members have volunteered over 2,200 hours (about 3 months) and counting in 2022. Through the BH Gives Back program, each employee is given eight hours of paid volunteer time to use each year. Employees have the flexibility to get involved in any organization that is important to them and that impacts their local communities.
From food collection drives to helping at local schools to angel tree donations to serving ice cream, the opportunities to give back are endless.
Jessica is so compelled to give back and make an impact on the community where she lives, works, and raises her family. “It’s easy to get inspired by causes that I care so deeply about and it’s incredibly rewarding to see the direct impact,” she says.
Jessica and The Puppy Jake Foundation
One of Jessica’s most extraordinary volunteer efforts is through The Puppy Jake Foundation. The Iowa-based Puppy Jake Foundation is dedicated to helping military veterans nationwide through the assistance of well-bred, socialized, and professionally trained service dogs. Not only has Jessica raised money and awareness for this organization, but she has also participated in educational opportunities through local schools to teach children about service dogs.
Even more, she and her family are boarding and training a Phase 2 service dog named Hyde that will be placed with a veteran. During his time with Jessica’s family, Hyde attended weekly training and specialized outings and enjoyed several basketball games, family dinners out, and weekly errands.
Jessica is continuing her journey to foster service dogs through The Puppy Jake Foundation this year. The day Jessica transitioned Hyde to receive additional training (service dogs receive six months of training with a designated person to continue working on their skills), she picked up Drake, a Phase 4 service dog that will live and train with her family until the end of October. Drake is currently learning how to open and close doors, turn lights on and off, and provide emotional comfort and physical stability to his future veteran. He goes everywhere with Jessica and her family.
Jessica’s Other Impressive Gives Back Efforts
Jessica has dedicated herself as a volunteer for the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa at the Iowa State Fair and the Central Iowa Shelter & Services to raise funds and awareness of the most vulnerable population in our community, the unhoused.
She also helped to fundraise for It’s Cold Out There to support people and families experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger in the community.
She participated – and led – several BH Gives Back events for her department, including The Birthday Project and Iowa Food Bank.
She regularly participates at the Eat Greater Des Moines food rescue, where she picks up food that would have otherwise been discarded from local retailers and gets it into the hands of those who need it.
She celebrated International Women’s Day by giving back to the community with Give Grace Give Hope to help eliminate the gap between need and access for low-income and unhoused individuals.
Jessica’s efforts highlight BH’s mission to create spaces where people live and thrive. One of BH’s core values, she’s creating community by putting people first, both in our communities and at work. Congratulations to Jessica on her well-deserved Philanthropist of the Year Award!