Yesterday was the somber one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. I’m sure you remember the non-stop news the following days and the many fundraisers held last year. As this news article reports and shows through many touching photos, only five percent of the rubble has been cleared and the progress in re-building a country that struggled even before the earthquake has been very slow.
This got me thinking about how companies and individuals give back. Some companies give annually, sponsor events or have company volunteer days. Some individuals give back by volunteering their time, participating in events or serving on boards of non-profits. There are plenty of opportunities in your community, and here are three reasons why you should act on those opportunities.
1. Meet new people
Need a change of scenery from networking events? Volunteering allows you to meet people from the organization and meet people in your community, some who may be helpful to your business down the road.
2. Build your skills and/or give you new experiences
Volunteering helps you build your interpersonal skills – communicating and connecting – that will help your networking and business skills. Giving back may also give you new experiences such as helping build a house or helping plan an event.
3. Make a difference in your community
Volunteering is a win-win for you and your community. The organization has an extra hand in accomplishing its goals and you have that rewarding feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference. Although sometimes you might not see the direct fruits of your labor like serving food at a soup kitchen or teaching a child to read would, things like stacking cans at a food pantry or running a race benefiting a non-profit are still important for the end goal – making a difference.
How are you giving back this year?