July 30, 2008

Lending a Helping Hand

The other day our creative department was brainstorming ideas and activities to help keep our creativity fresh and our momentum going. We were suggesting all kinds of activities from visiting the local library to spending the day at an amusement park, when someone mentioned volunteering. What a great idea! Volunteering not only provides an outside activity for us to engage in, but it is a great team building exercise and, of course, it benefits the community.

I later came across an article on the CNN website titled, “Volunteer Work Can Be Good for Career.” The article talks about new ways in which companies are offering incentives for their employees to volunteer in the community. It also mentions an organization called VolunteerMatch which matches non-profit organizations with volunteers.

VolunteerMatch has a website on which individuals or groups can search for local volunteer opportunities. What I found particularly interesting are the Corporate Solutions that VolunteerMatch offers. Companies can join VolunteerMatch to promote volunteering in the workplace and gain access to VolunteerMatch’s resources. Several companies such as Target, Johnson & Johnson, and General Mills have already jumped on board. Companies that promote volunteer work and take an interest in the community are not only fostering a better work environment, but they are building their brand’s reputation as well.

I started thinking about ways in which our employees are involved in the community and serve as volunteers. Maghan Cook, an Addison Whitney employee spends a lot of her time volunteering for Planned Parenthood and United Family Services. Every year in December, Addison Whitney participates in the “Giving Tree,” a project sponsored by the local Department of Social Services. Employees can donate money or toys to help children in foster care or group homes have a happy holiday. inVentiv Communications employees contribute to GRACE, a charitable initiative to assist senior citizens in need access life-sustaining prescription drugs and other healthcare services.

What is the most interesting or rewarding volunteer opportunity you have participated in?

By: Jessica McGrail


  1. Ninh Nguyen   July 30, 2008 9:04 am / Reply

    Personally I find the “Make A Wish Foundation” to be an organization that I enjoy volunteering with the most. Weekly I receive an e-mail of dates and details of what the organization needs such as being an airport greeter to a child getting their wish granted right here in Charlotte. An entourage of vehicles will escort him/her with their parents to the designated location where another group will assist in the actual wish granting. There are certainly other tasks from office support to providing expert skills like translating in other languages. My best friend is a professional sign language interpreter and he has been able to provide his skills to the cause. One fact that I didn’t know until recently is the average cost of fulfilling a wish is $ 6,000. My goal is to develop a fundraiser/special event that will allow a group to fulfill a wish to a child that deserves having a dream come true.

    For those of us in Charlotte I would recommend going to the “Hands on Charlotte” website to find out about other volunteer opportunities.


  2. Enrique   August 4, 2008 10:40 am / Reply

    Another great experience I had was with Habitat for Humanity. Not only was it a very rewarding experience, but had A LOT of fun too! This is a great opportunity, for a large group of people, to get together and build houses for people in need.


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