In addition to working, raising families and enjoying hobbies, many Hartford HealthCare colleagues give of their time and talents in a variety of ways. From coaching youth sports to holding elected office to tackling projects that enhance our world, you’re out there at night and on weekends giving of yourself. This new feature in Moments will highlight those efforts. If you want to let us know about the work you or a colleague is doing, please email Susan McDonald at email@example.com.
Steve Coates’ life as a philanthropist began when he took a job 15 years ago promoting a non-profit organization helping kids in Hartford.
Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) serves youth ages 14-24 who are either involved with child welfare or justice system, struggling with low income, and/or un- or under-employed. They needed help with marketing.
“I had my first job in communications and marketing there in 2008, and I have always really admired the organization,” Coates says of the group, which helps youth with personal development, academic achievement and workforce readiness.
Now a senior director of marketing at Hartford Healthcare, Coates was named to the OPP board in January 2022. He chairs its development committee, raising funds for the group.
In addition, he is working with the Hartford Hospital human resources team on an initiative to create internship opportunities for OPP youth at HHC, in such areas as food and nutrition, patient transport and environmental services.
“It is a great way to give young people opportunities while also filling critical staffing needs,” he says.
The similarities between the two organizations is interesting, Coates notes.
“The organization has a similar culture to HHC, based in respect, leadership and doing the right thing. You know an OPP youth when you meet them because they have superior interpersonal and professional skills,” he says.
He says he has donated his time for administrative assistance, but also would like to become more involved in job readiness training with the youth, such as mock job interviews, workplace etiquette and communication.
“It is really awesome to be a part of this organization. It is inspirational to see young people succeed. Often, they just need a caring adult who can open doors for them and help keep them on track through some serious barriers. It is amazing to watch them thrive,” he says.