Happy 40th, National Volunteer Week.
Endorsed and supported by President Obama, Congress and other national and state leaders, National Volunteer Week kicked off on April 6th this year and winds down on April 12th, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events having taken place throughout the week. The President called upon all Americans to observe this week by volunteering in service projects across our country and pledging to make service a part of their daily lives.
Ever since 1974, when President Nixon first set the ball in motion, National Volunteer Week has celebrated the power of civic service and galvanized more profound community engagement. But the week is more than just a general appreciation for volunteering. It’s an observance that has become a cornerstone event for corporate philanthropy leaders as a way of spurring further participation in and support for their organizations’ community work.
As such, the week is recognized by corporations and nonprofit organizations in numerous events throughout the country.
Every year, I love hearing about the ways that companies honor their commitment to volunteering during National Volunteer Week. This special time is always a magic hour for causes, when enormous attention is focused on giving back and the spirit of good will permeates everywhere, especially throughout corporate corridors.
I hope that this week has been one of inspiration, with many examples like these:
Cabot Creamery Cooperative
In honor of National Volunteer Week, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, the farm family owned dairy cooperative widely known as the makers of the “World’s Best Cheddar,” launched Reward Volunteers 5.0. For one full year, Reward Volunteers 5.0 will continue to honor volunteers from across the country with a variety of prizes, including cash for non-profit organizations, vacation packages, gift cards, gift baskets featuring Cabot’s award-winning cheddar, and a host of other prizes. Sponsors of Reward Volunteers 5.0 include AARP Create The Good, Co-Op-Stronger Together, All For Good, and Marriott.
Each year, Will Koger, a Comcast employee, organizes massive projects with the Boys & Girls Club of America in Martinsville, Va. ― a community with significant unemployment and a high rate of poverty. Six years ago, Will asked the company for $500 to spruce up his adopted son’s Boys & Girls Club Teen Center. Today, that Boys & Girls Club is a thriving facility serving over 100 at-risk youth each year. What started as one project at the Boys & Girls Club quickly gained momentum and has exploded into a community-wide event with more than 700 volunteers working at the Teen Center, a local school and park, and a Community Center this year. Over the years, tens of thousands of Martinsville residents’ lives have been positively impacted by one man’s desire to help his community. Comcast celebrates its commitment to volunteering this month with its own special day of Volunteering, Comcast Cares Day, the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort (which is so impressive that I wrote about last year). More than 80,000 volunteers at 700+ worksites across the U.S. will turn out in force to beautify neighborhoods, parks, and local schools, serve at community food banks, and install computer labs, among many other transformative projects.
The Honest Company
The Honest Company recently announced the launch of its Social Goodness Timeline on Honest.com to offer customers a close-up look at the brand’s major goodness milestones, behind-the-scenes giving, and dedication to sustainability in all aspects of the business. Since its launch, the company has donated 534,071 products, assisted 47,657 families in need and has supported more than 100 non-profits. The brand also provides paid volunteer time to its employees who have worked a cumulative 968 volunteer hours for causes of their choosing. To do its part during National Volunteer Week, Honest partnered with the Los Angeles-based non-profit Food Forward for a company-wide fruit harvesting day to provide needed nutrition to families through local food banks and shelters.
I can’t wait to hear about more ways that organizations have celebrated this special time. If your company has a great Volunteer Week experience to share, please reach out to me ([email protected]). I’d love to report on the impact this week has on communities and employees everywhere.