We're sharing stories of how our customers, employees and retirees are Powering Beyond — using their energy to make our communities better.
In a time of change, Ashlie Timm needed to find order. In 2015, following her mother’s death and in the middle of a divorce, she moved from Rock Island, Illinois to Burlington, Iowa. She was excited about a fresh start, and her new job as a construction associate with Alliant Energy, but she felt disconnected, with what seemed like too much time on her hands.
Her answer? Volunteer. Timm’s first step was to reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association. Her mother had suffered from dementia, and volunteering with this organization helped her feel connected to her mom, while building a foundation in a new community and giving back.
Timm was off and running, devoting more and more time to each cause that drew her interest. Junior Achievement led to the Burlington Arts Center, and Walk to End Alzheimer’s brought her to the Community Emergency Response Team – which ended up being a little more than she’d bargained for. “I thought the CERT team just handed out coffee to firefighters, but the tasks are so much more intense,” Timm said. “I’m involved in training throughout the year in CPR and basic lifesaving.”
Friends she met through that experience brought Burlington Pride to her attention. She became co-organizer for Pride in the Park, which led to fundraising for SARCOR, a canine search and rescue organization.
Timm credits her mom for her involvement in the community. “Mom probably spent ten hours a week volunteering at her church, taking meals to people and so on. She used to say, ‘All you can do, Ashlie, is try to do something good in your corner of the world.’ Once I got started, I really loved it. Knowing you’re bringing good to the world, even in a small way, helps you get up in the morning.”
Working with various local organizations has helped her as well. “It made me a different person,” Timm said. “You learn a lot about people from different walks of life, and you start to understand how alike we all are.”
Her work is making impacts in unexpected ways. Timm noted that recently a coworker overheard her talking about a meeting for Burlington Pride and asked to get involved.
“Sharing your life experience, being open about who you are and where you are in life helps people feel comfortable sharing with you,” Timm said. “That’s really fulfilling…I really don’t know what my niche would be if I weren’t doing this, but here I am, making some small difference and meeting some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life—in my fifties.”
Timm’s volunteer efforts and commitment to her community demonstrate how she uses her energy for good and have earned her a 2021 VIP Award from Alliant Energy.
Top photo caption: Ashlie Timm belongs to the Community Emergency Response Team. She uses her energy to help various organizations in the community, earning her a 2021 VIP award from Alliant Energy.
Photo caption: Ashlie Timm’s safety training helped her lead an active shooter drill last year for Des Moines County Courthouse. (Photos courtesy of Ashlie Timm)