By Nicholette Carlson
WARSAW — A little more than six years ago, Zane Hollar had started his job at Zimmer Biomet in quality engineering, bought his first home and he “felt like it was time to start giving back to the community.”
However, he was unsure how he wanted to give back. He went online and began searching for volunteer opportunities in the community. One immediately jumped out at him — Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Hollar applied online and interviewed to be a Big. Approximately a month after BBBS completed his background check and called on his references, he discovered he had matched with a Little named Chris. He started in the Lunch Buddies program, which he believes is the perfect segue into the program.
“The feeling when I walked out the first time I volunteered was crazy powerful,” Hollar emphasized, and ensured him he was on the right path. Since the lunch program ends after sixth grade, Hollar soon switched to the community-based program with Chris. They get together about twice a month and find things to do in the community. Each month there are also different match activities put on by BBBS. However, some favorite activities are laser tag and paintball. He has enjoyed watching Chris grow and mature and hearing the feedback that ensures Hollar he is making a difference.
Now that Chris is 17 years old, Hollar is also helping prepare Chris for the future by taking him on a tour of Zimmer and sharing the wealth of career opportunities in the area. Hollar was excited to discover he could continue the program with Chris until he turns 22 in order to help him through college and entering the adult world.
A new opportunity in BBBS arose for Hollar recently when he became co-chair of the Kosciusko County Ambassadors Committee. He describes the committee as “full of volunteers who are super passionate about it (BBBS).” His role revolves around assisting with programming, such as the Big Futures program. Big Futures targets middle school and high school students to help them begin to think about their future careers with a STEM focus. However, Hollar emphasized it won’t all be about STEM. They hope to offer a wide array of opportunities including writing, art and design to help empower kids to find what they want to do and follow those dreams.
“There’s a lot of value in finding what you’re passionate about,” he stressed.
He has a plan in place for his group and envisions eventual monthly or bimonthly meetings, coming in with new questions each time to keep the progress moving. The ambassador committee only began a few months ago, however, so they are still in between the planning and implementation of ideas stages.
Hollar grew up and continues to live in the Warsaw area. He believes he was drawn to the program because of his own upbringing and the handful of positive role models in his own life who left a lasting impact.
He loves summertime and fitness. Running is his passion. Hollar completed a half marathon and will run his first marathon in November. His long-term goal is to compete in an Iron Man.
He also enjoys biking, Brazilian jiu jitsu, golfing and spending time with friends.
“If someone is interested in giving back and helping the community, one of the coolest ways you can help the community is one person at a time,” Hollar stated.