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How volunteering helps communities, and businesses

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be hard to find the time to volunteer. However, a little bit of time can go a long way. Whether it be physically dedicating time to a local organization or sharing time remotely, a little bit can make a big impact on the community.

A volunteer’s role is crucial to the community, and it is great for business, too.

Volunteering helps connect like-minded individuals and is a great networking opportunity. Because this type of “networking” is natural and unforced, it allows for meaningful conversations to happen and strong relationships to be formed. Later, connections often turn into friends or even into customers.

Taking on new tasks and learning new skills is another benefit to volunteering. Volunteers are able to try things they otherwise may not have to do in their regular 9-to-5 job. Building a skill set is an important part of personal growth, not to mention it’s a great resume builder.

 Volunteering also requires the use of teamwork. Successful community projects come from the help of many individuals working together, making it a great team-building activity for managers and their staff to do together. Studies have shown that companies that pursue environmental and social outreach efforts have more engaged employees. More engaged employees are happier at work, which means they are more likely to do a great job and stay with the company long term.

Not only do employees value volunteerism, but customers do, too. Research shows that consumers like shopping from companies that are involved with their community. Corporate responsibility is an important factor in consumer buying decisions. In fact, in a recent study, only 44% said the price was an important attribute of a company, compared to environmentally-friendly business practices (71%), social responsibility (68%), and giving back to the local community (68%).

So, how can one get involved?.

With so many non-profit organizations in the Lehigh Valley, volunteer opportunities are plentiful. From community clean up, to gardening, to senior care, and more, there is something available for everyone and The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley can help find the best fit. They are a great resource for volunteers looking for the perfect fit. Their website lists a variety of current volunteer openings at various companies in the Lehigh Valley, making the search easier than ever. Some companies might even consider hosting their own community clean up, sponsoring an event, or creating their own team for a local 5k.

Volunteering is easy when it is enjoyable. Connecting the act of volunteering with a personal interest can be especially rewarding. Finding something that fuels one’s passion can make volunteering a fulfilling and fun experience, rather than a chore.

Make it a 2020 goal to volunteer company time to help make a difference in the community – it can go a long way.

Murtaza Jaffer is the co-owner of EBC Printing of Trexlertown. He can be reached at murtaza@ebclv.com

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