In, 2014 there were over 610,000 homeless men, women and children in the United States and another 45 million people, that’s 15% of the total U.S. population, living below the poverty line. These statistics demonstrate a need for help, a need for volunteers to make a difference and support those that are disadvantaged. Volunteering has proven to have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served. Volunteering efforts, when organized properly, can help strengthen and repair communities, build lasting relationships and offer support to those in need. Volunteering is a concept that has been around for centuries that has grown some of the largest organizations in the world.
Volunteering has a history that spans across centuries and cultures. The word volunteering stems from the French word voluntaire which means “one who offers himself for military service.” In the 19th Century the United States experienced a turning point in American history known as The Great Awakening. During this time, people started to become aware of the large disparities between the rich and the poor and developed a focus on the disadvantaged. The Great Awakening gave birth to volunteer organizations such as The Salvation Army, the YMCA and The American Red Cross.
On an individual level volunteering can enhance one’s hands-on skill sets, provide opportunities to meet new people and help give back to the community. Volunteering creates a visceral feeling and instills altruistic qualities that can last a life time. The intentions of volunteering are to improve human quality of life and encourage goodness in others. Volunteering does not require a large organized effort and could be as simple as shoveling a sidewalk for a disabled neighbor or helping someone carry their groceries.
Company driven volunteering is a type of volunteering in which a company or an organization makes an investment in the employees, the company and the community for philanthropic purposes. Company driven volunteering events can bring employees together to promote team work and encourage them to give back to the community. It can provide team work activities, employee/management training and skill building, allow for leadership opportunities and allow companies to show their key values. Common types of company driven volunteering may include organizing items at a food pantry, sending care packages to deployed troops, volunteering at a homeless shelters or cleaning a town park.
Integrated Commissioning and Qualification (ICQ) is a fast growing company that strongly values unique family dynamic that was established early on in an effort to maintain the culture we are rolling out programs like Company Driven Volunteering. As a locally grown business originally from Rhode Island, ICQ has expanded both its reach and its horizon past the borders of RI, past the borders of the North East and past the borders of the United States. As our corporate reach expands so must our efforts to maintain our core values.
ICQ’s first volunteering effort of 2015 involved assembling and sending care packages to deployed service members overseas. On Saturday, February 21, 2015 over 20 ICQ employees and family members came together to assemble 50 military care packages. Company driven volunteering events such as this are only successful due to the participation and effort from everyone involved.
Written By: Tyler Hassenpflug, Consultant I
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