“Improve Corporate Visibility.” I was reading an article about the benefits of companies volunteering together and this was the last bullet on the list. I read this and immediately had the urge to vomit (TMI? Sorry…). You know what my problem with this statement is? It’s “me-focused.” If your company is going to volunteer together in the community and this is a big part of the reason, you’re focusing on the wrong thing and completely missing the point of volunteering. This statement is focused on what “I, the company” am going to get out of the experience. Of course improved corporate visibility may be something that will naturally happen, but if that’s what you’re setting out to do, people are going to see right through your inauthentic-ness. When we do things from a place that is not genuine, people see right through this.
IDEAS recently set out to “improve our corporate visibility”…I’m kidding (puke…TMI again?)! However, we did set out to take a few hours out of our day for anyone willing and able and head to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. We signed up on their website (http://shfbcf.volunteerhub.com/Events/Index) to volunteer as a group to sort food donations. Let me just say, the sign up process was easier than beating a 3 year old at tic-tac-toe (you’ll find the sign up process much more satisfying I bet too)! As a person of administrative mindfulness, I was so impressed with Second Harvest’s organization, appreciation and well-working volunteer system.
After we signed in at Second Harvest, we were shown an orientation video that you can watch here: https://youtu.be/g9hwh_NSKMY
187,940. Know what this number is? It’s the number of kids who struggle with hunger just in Central Florida. Such a huge number and what’s more is, I know how much hunger can affect other things. My heart breaks for these kiddos who probably have a hard time focusing on school and studying because they are distracted by their empty bellies.
After the video, the IDEAS team headed into their big warehouse and worked as a team to help box up food, pack, label, stack, and wrap pallets. Not only was it a fun, team-building experience, it was so wonderful knowing that we were helping to make a difference for those 187,940 kids… being “others-focused.”
I love working for a company that not only encourages us to volunteer, but sets up opportunities on company time to go volunteer together in our community. And this isn’t done to improve our image or visibility, but simply just to give back. It is not lost on me that this is not a norm in the corporate world.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida collects and distributes donated food to more than 550 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central FL counties. They are a wonderful organization and I would highly encourage you to volunteer, whether as an individual, or taking your company. Definitely a non-vomit-worthy experience.
Fight Hunger, Feed Hope Now