How can you create a giving office environment?
Time doesn’t stand still and we can’t get it back when it’s gone. It’s what many of us would probably pay for to have more. I’m not going to write about that kind of time. But rather, the time we volunteer doing good for others rather than ourselves. The interesting thing about this though, is it’s also time we’re using for ourselves; to better ourselves, to learn ourselves and to provide to others what they may not be able to provide to themselves.
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
There are countless organizations out there that ask for monetary and product donations. They allow us to give back without giving much of our time. We are grateful for these organizations and they are grateful for us. This is especially true for the individual who has extra income to do so. But what about individuals who want to ‘get involved’ but are unable to financially?
“You may not have saved a lot of money in your life, but if you have saved a lot of heartaches for other folks, you are a pretty rich man.”
This is where employers can make a difference in the lives of their employees, charitable recipients, and themselves. Employees who have a positive work/life balance are much more productive and happy at work. When a company provides the time and opportunity for people to give back, it creates a sense of self worth and camaraderie among staff. The motivation to give back multiplies when the experience is positive and can be done through work.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
Our office has a giving program and it’s quite fantastic. For the time we spend volunteering with any non-profit organization, the company creates a ‘giving account’ makes a deposit for us to use whenever we need to pay it forward. This allows us to individually and independently spend time doing for others what we enjoy. It also helps out organizations to afford certain things they may not be able to buy.
“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”
We also volunteer our time together as a group throughout the year. We’ve raised funds for inner city students to attend shows at Playhouse square that they may otherwise never get to see. We’ve adapted robots and stuffed animals to allow for children with special needs to play with them as any other kid could. We have plans to participate in a walk this fall to raise funds and awareness about diabetes. These are a just a few things we’ve done as a group and there are many more things we do individually. Our office environment and employee psyche is better for it. It makes us all want to be better people and to give back where and when we can.
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Giving back doesn’t mean spending your last dime, or using the last minute of your day doing for others. It means you recognize the importance of others’ needs and knowing that one one person can make a difference. It means seeing the smiles on the faces of those who haven’t smiled in days, or the tears of joy you created by showing you care. Volunteering is knowing that no matter how small, what you are doing is worth it.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”