11Oct 2016
Oct 11, 2016

After Hurricane Matthew: Employee Volunteer Programs

Do you have plans to help clean up or do restoration from Hurricane Matthew?

Whether you are a small enterprise or large corporation, there are benefits to having Employee Volunteer Programs. Not only does an employee volunteer plan help to build relationships with your employees outside of business hours, but it also contributes toward helping build stronger communities.

What unites volunteers, is a common concern over an issue they feel passionate about. Volunteering is both a powerful and inspiring tool for  those who are engaged in the process. Many build lifelong friendships while volunteering together. Employee engagement is critical on so many levels. You learn to build  solid connections by stepping outside your comfort zone, and taking up a new challenge.

Most recently folks on the east coast have been forced into a predicament they didn’t ask for, and the recovery challenges they face are enormous. Hurricane Matthew left a path of destruction all along the east coast, with at least 24 deaths. Haiti’s death toll has risen into the upper hundreds. Lives have forever changed, yet many have stepped forward when the call for help came out.

There are challenges when volunteering. There is only one of you – and so many needs. Maybe you have limited resources and fear that you won’t have the time necessary  to invest in volunteering. It doesn’t have to be a lot to make a difference and have an impact on someone’s life. Just be honest with what you can do, and be willing to be flexible.  The first step begins with asking the question “How can I help”

Employee Volunteer Programs

What makes an employee volunteer program successful? What are  the  key criteria that one needs to know when developing their own employee volunteer or giving program?

  1. – On their website Business 4 Business, they give an overview of the 7 practices that they have put together on effective volunteer programs. They break it down into 7 logical points: 1. Planning, 2. Measurement, 3. Design,  4. Leadership,  5. Partnerships, 6. Employee Engagement, and  7. Success and Growth
  2. -Another employee related website America’s Charities explores The Business Case for Employee Volunteer & Skills Giving Programs. It’s worth the read and could have a vital impact on how you set up your own employee volunteer program.

A note worthy quote on their page (source: America’s Charities 2015 Snapshot)

88% of employers believe effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees
After Hurricane Matthew

Knowing a little about what you are volunteering for isn’t always as easy as pulling up a website.  Websites can only give you an overview of things.  They can’t tell the full story.  They aren’t necessarily in the trenches with the other volunteers and the victims themselves, but sometimes they are. They do give us some insight into what might be the greatest need.  For instance   How Hurricane Matthew affected each state it hit.  Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, were the states affected on the east coast by Hurricane Matthew.  Each state has its resource needs, and request for specific  aid.

Hurricane Matthew Recovery efforts in Florida were the first to come out with requests for help. They have a number of Emergency Management Partners as well.  North Carolina and other states followed just days if not hours later.  How to help NC after Hurricane Matthew came out quickly after Flordia’s request.    After if was over,  Hurricane Matthew left a trail of devastation with at least 24 dead across the southern states.

There are always ways to help even if you are not part of,  or your company does not have an employee volunteer program.

  1. The American Red Cross  For those who want to volunteer by donating blood.  Please donate where you are, in whichever state you reside.  There is always a need.
  2. Emergency Management Services   Check into the services nearest you and see where you can help.
  3. For those who are inclined to deal with ongoing humanitarian needs around the world please check out this website Top Humanitarian Aid Needs for 2016 .
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