Tina’s Story – How she Lives United

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tina Ramien remembers the first house she worked on as part of Days of Caring.

Soon after joining Zimmer, she signed up to give back to the community and was assigned to clean up a property southeast of Warsaw. Helping homeowners was part of the United Way of Kosciusko County’s efforts on the annual community project at that time. Tina said that sounded like fun and she wanted to help. “That’s how it all started,” she said.

The night before the cleanup day, the homeowner had a heart attack. When Ramien and the others arrived, there was far more work than anticipated. The crew that start as 10 to 12 people grew to 75 by the end of the day. The property needed a lot of help and this group did all that was needed.

“At the end of the day, everybody was exhausted but it felt good to help somebody,” she said. “It was just a good feeling.”

What started as a way to meet coworkers and give back to the community became an annual tradition for her in which she both throws herself into helping the community and learns how others come together to rack up wins.

Some of those projects, Tina wouldn’t leave until 8:30 or 9 p.m. She believes in seeing something through, even if it’s exhausting. For her, the rewards last far longer than the tiredness and sore muscles and keep her coming back again and again.

Tina has championed Days of Caring at the Zimmer Biomet volunteer effort and helped hundreds of people find ways to give each year. She keeps coming back year after year and encourages others to do so, but says that’s easy because she and others see that they are having an impact. “Making that difference. Making somebody else’s life easier or better is just so cool,” said Tina. 

One year, Tina and others helped a woman recycle about $3,000 from scrap metal on her property. “She was so excited. She had extra money and now she could get her hair done,” Tina said.

United Way of Kosciusko County relies on donations, but also people like Tina who give so generously of their time. The community needs people willing to get their hands dirty and help others, particularly the aging population of Kosciusko County where there’s a gap in services, said Tina.

In the coming months, as she does every year, Tina will get commitments and assign people to jobs based on their skill sets to maximize effectiveness. Many of her co-workers want to help and seek her out to get involved. Together, they pitch in to build up a community and as they see the results of their efforts, they want to do even more, she said.

Tina can’t wait for this year’s Days of Caring. She’ll juggle volunteering and working that week. “I love doing it,” she said. “It’s one of those times of year I look forward to. It brings a spotlight of excitement and good feelings. And it just kind of lasts for a while.”