Where’s the time to help?

By Mike Novakoski – January 9, 2014

An employee of Holland-based Elzinga & Volkers talks on his mobile while donating blood during a Michigan Blood drive. Photo via fb.com

As I peer into the rear-view mirror of years past, I see a lot of great personal and professional accomplishments within our company.

Although many of these accomplishments resulted in new jobs, facilities to better aid the public and time spent with family, the accomplishments stayed within our tightly maintained personal and professional communities.

Looking externally

While I believe it’s crucial to boost these inner communities first, we needed to do more. I wanted our company to be one that extends its successes beyond its borders, sharing it with other, possibly forgotten, communities. And for the past few years, we’ve been working toward that goal.

The best way you can serve others is by matching your passions and skills to needs in the community. When you see so precisely how you can help, hopefully your desire to serve will grow.

However, in our busy lives, it’s easy to find service work at the bottom of our list — not because it’s a low priority, but because we think we don’t have time. Our company has been working hard to merge these two ideas: the desire to serve and the time to serve.

Lead by committee

We have created a Community Initiatives committee comprised of employees from our office and field who search for volunteer opportunities where our employees can and are excited to work.

This past year, we have been able to do things like donating 330 items and Christmas hams to the Georgetown Church Food Drive during Thanksgiving, 10 employees helping out at the United Way Day of Caring and having Michigan Blood set up a donation center in our office, where we donated a total of 26 pints of blood.

By having a committee to set up these events and implement them into special workdays, we have minimized the “I don’t have time” excuse and matched employees up with volunteer tasks they’re passionate about.

Outreach goals

Today, I look at the past year and see something different when defining success. I have great pride in seeing the impact we have made through so many worthy community initiatives.

We are now, and will continue to be, a company that provides a multitude of service opportunities — and the time during the workday to serve. 

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