Voices of VU PHL: Meet Katie Colburn!

Director of Marketing Katie Colburn hard at work painting the schoolyard at the Thomas Holme Elementary School!

Director of Marketing Katie Colburn hard at work painting the schoolyard at the Thomas Holme Elementary School!

Welcome to our latest Voices of VU PHL post featuring board member Katie Colburn! Katie has been a member of the VU Crew for two years and has worked her way through the ranks as a member of the marketing committee and now serving as Marketing Director. Read on to learn more about Katie, why it’s important to give back to the Philly community, as well as a recap of our October event at the Thomas Holme Elementary School!

How did you get involved in VU PHL? 

In 2017, I attended a VU PHL event and loved it! I had a great experience painting a school playground. The people were so friendly and the beer afterwards was a nice bonus! 

I work in digital marketing, so when I heard that VU PHL needed some help on their marketing committee, I jumped at the chance. I enjoyed playing a bigger role in the organization and helping with our social media presence. In June 2019, I took over as the Marketing Director. 

What is your favorite part of volunteering with VU PHL?

Seeing the impact our volunteers make each month for our non-profit partners. Our volunteers come to work! It’s amazing to see everything that can be accomplished in such a short time.

Why is giving back so important to you? 

I’ve been living in Philly for over five years now and love the community and people here. One of the reasons giving back is so important to me is that it helps my community and the people in it, especially the ones in need.

What advice do you have for young Philadelphians looking to get more involved in the community?

When I first moved to this area, my goal was to volunteer once a month, but I was having a hard time finding an organization to consistently volunteer with. There are so many great nonprofits in Philly who all need volunteers. VU PHL is a great resource. Come to one of our second Saturday events and you’ll get your hands dirty volunteering for one of our non-profit partners.

Can you give us a recap of our October event at Thomas Holme Elementary School?

75 volunteers attended our October event on Saturday, October 12 . Not only was it a great turnout, but we also had amazing weather that day. Thomas Holme School put us to work! 

We built six raised garden beds and filled them with almost 150 pounds of soil. Another group worked on building three buddy benches, which looked great and were very sturdy, for the kids to sit on during recess. 

The playground and parking lot were transformed as we painted a football field, a soccer field, and multiple basketball courts. We also painted new fire drill and dismissal numbers for the kids to line up at. 

On top of all of that, we did some general beautification of the school and grounds by picking up garbage, weeding and painting a staircase. The event was a success and we ended up giving the school over $7,400 in volunteer hours!

Lastly, what’s your go-to restaurant in Philly?

La Calaca Feliz is my favorite restaurant. They have amazing tacos, guacamole, and margaritas. What more could you want?

Joe Buckshon