A volunteer program is an effective way to give back to communities. Volunteerism has been on the rise in the corporate world. The pandemic has sensitized people to the needs of society.
A good volunteer program increases engagement, boosts productivity, and increases retention.
Volunteer programs can come in all sizes and shapes, and they depend on a number of factors, such as the size of an organization and its cultural norms.
Given below are some volunteer programs that employees may find stimulating.
Make Care Packages
Assembling care packages for families in need can be a very meaningful volunteer experience. A company might want to partner with another organization for such a program.
The other organization might give instructions on what the components of the care packages should be and what to do with them once they are ready. Some organizations also help pack backpacks with school supplies for children who cannot afford them.
Volunteer at Animal Shelters
Quite a few animal shelters have pets who need constant care. They also have volunteer opportunities where one can learn about animals and help look after them.
For instance, Paws.org offers different types of opportunities to look after animals, such as dog walking, community outreach, and training.
Public Space Cleanup
People seek to make a difference by volunteering. They want to do things that make them feel that they have contributed in important ways. There has to be value and purpose in what they are doing. A great way to do this is to participate in a public space cleanup in a city or town.
Groups can gather at a road, forest, or beach, and remove trash they find. This type of a program not only lessens pollution but also helps to create a sense of community. Volunteers could also ‘adopt’ a public space to keep it clean. Prizes could be given to people who collect the maximum amount of trash.
Helping Homeless Shelters
Some businesses go beyond traditional employee involvement in their volunteer programs, and involve suppliers, customers, and even retired workers.
Volunteers can help build wheelchair ramps for shelters. They can also collect and make blankets, and assemble hygiene kits for adults and children
Team Building Activities
Some teams in different organizations encourage each other to volunteer. Employees are fond of these events because they are not only fun to participate in, but also result in better working relationships. Such activities can include building and testing wheelchairs and donating bicycles.
There are other fun ideas too, and people can be asked to do as many good deeds as possible within a given time limit. A medical technology company, Stryker, lets their volunteers offer services in “Operation Smile’, a charity that performs palate and cleft lip surgery.
Sponsor Sports Teams
Sports can be a transformative experience for children.
Supporting a local children’s sports team by providing new equipment or paying fees for a tournament can be extremely meaningful.