Tag Archives: employee volunteer programs

Have fun — and make a difference — at work through volunteering

Jan. 29 is National Fun at Work Day, and while it can sometimes be hard to think about “fun” and “work” in the same sentence, there’s never been a better time to find creative ways to engage and bond with your co-workers.  

One of the most fun and fulfilling team-building exercises is volunteering!  

Robert Half survey found that 61% of U.S. workers believe that taking part in charitable activities outside work makes them feel better and allows them to be more effective on the job. Many companies have responded to this by offering paid volunteer time for their employees, or by organizing volunteer projects for employees. Volunteering is a fantastic way to foster communication and trust within an employee team — and it has the incredible benefit of strengthening the community. 

“It felt good to be able to do something for someone else during the pandemic. Teachers do so much for their students, so it was important to me to be able to give back to them and let them know how much they mean to us.” — Debbie M., volunteer with Ingram Content Group 

COVID-19 has made it difficult for large employee groups to gather for many types of volunteer projects. That’s why Hands On Nashville’s corporate engagement team works hard to curate safe and creative volunteer project options for companies wanting to engage their employees in service. 

In 2020, employee volunteers assembled more than 5,000 care kits for seniors, students, individuals experiencing homelessness, teachers, and veterans. Those kits could be assembled and personalized at home, and many employees enjoyed including their own families in the fun. 

Other employee volunteers in 2020 took part in safe and socially distanced tree plantings, or done-in-a-day tech projects that strengthened local nonprofits’ core functions. 

This year, when thinking about making work more fun — and meaningful — what could that mean for your team? 

If you’re interested in learning more about volunteer projects for your company, we’d love to hear from you! 

Building Houses; Building Communities: Why the Jones Company Commits to Giving Back

There’s a world of difference between a string of homes and a community. The Jones Company sees that line each day. Founded in 1927, the home-building organization has a 90-year history of watching neighborhoods grow and change.

Bob Jones, the company’s founder, had a dedication to philanthropy that lives on in the organization today. By prioritizing energy efficiency in new homes and actively volunteering with local nonprofits, the Jones Company works to build stronger communities, in addition to new homes.

2017 was the Jones Company’s 90th year in business. To celebrate, employees participated in volunteer projects throughout the year. Serving with Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, Safe Haven Family Shelter and Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings (HES) program, Jones Company volunteers from every department – from sales to purchasing, accounting to construction – worked to meet needs related to housing and well being for residents in the community we all share.

“We wouldn’t have been in business this long without an attitude of thankfulness – for our customers, our business and our neighbors. Giving back is part of that,” said Bridget Thompson, director of marketing at The Jones Company. “It’s amazing what a group of volunteers can accomplish when they share their talents and resources.”

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HES projects are a natural fit for The Jones Company, as HON’s work to cut utility costs for neighbors living on low incomes mirrors the Jones Company’s initiative to employ energy conservation in all new homes. Such efforts are also a priority for Jones Company customers. “Affordable housing doesn’t just mean getting into a house and making a monthly payment – it’s also the upkeep,” said Thompson.

For Jones Company employees, volunteering as a group also offers the chance to step out of daily roles and take a break. During one Second Harvest project, Jones teammates got a kick out of seeing their colleagues, construction workers nearly always wearing work clothes, wearing hairnets, shelling peas and having fun.

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In today’s business world, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become less of an option and more of a requirement. According to Deloitte, 70 percent of millennials are influenced by a company’s CSR practices when considering taking a job. For Jones Company, however, building community simply comes with the territory.

Thank you, Jones Company, for spending your 90th year in service!

Learn how to increase your team’s corporate social responsibility.

Nominations Now Open for 2014 Strobel Volunteer Awards

Hands On Nashville Asks Community To Nominate Volunteer Heroes by Feb. 14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville is asking the community to nominate individuals and groups for the 2014 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards presented by HCA/TriStar Health.

“We all know incredible people – everyday heroes – who give of their time and talents to make our community better,” said Brian Williams, Hands On Nashville president and CEO. “Each spring, the Strobel Awards luncheon gives our community an opportunity to lift up these inspiring stories of volunteerism that happen around us every day.”

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The nomination deadline is Feb. 14, and nomination forms can be found at www.HON.org/strobel_awards. Nashvillians are encouraged to nominate outstanding volunteers within six categories of service:

  • Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or noncorporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.
  • Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
  • Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.
  • Direct Service Volunteer Award recognizes individuals who have participated in hands-on, direct service with a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
  • Volunteer Innovator Award honors individuals or groups that have directly identified a community need and responded to it by developing and implementing an innovative solution, or improved an existing program or effort through creative problem-solving.
  • Youth Volunteer Award recognizes youth, teens and young adults ages 5 to 22 who have gone above and beyond to incorporate volunteerism into their lives.

Three finalists for five of the six categories will be selected by two groups of independent assessors, composed of community volunteers, volunteer administrators, business leaders and civic leaders. The exception is the Volunteer Innovator Award category. Finalists in this category will be selected by a panel of judges convened by TN Media. To encourage broad community participation, volunteers in this category will be invited to vote for an award recipient via the Tennessean.com website.  All award recipients will be announced at the luncheon.

The Awards luncheon, now in its 28th year, will be held on April 22 at the Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center. All nominees receive special recognition and a complimentary seat at the luncheon.

More than 700 volunteers and agency representatives are expected to attend the luncheon. Award luncheon tickets will be available for purchase at HON.org in March.

About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards
The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates Strobel’s service and recognizes those who continue her legacy.

About Hands On Nashville
Since 1991, Hands On Nashville has been connecting volunteers to critical needs facing the Middle Tennessee community, such as hunger, homelessness and environmental protection. Offering more than 400 volunteer opportunities to the community each month at HON.org, Hands On Nashville challenges everyone to find a way to give back and to … Be the Change. Volunteer.

Media Contact: 
Becca Wilson
becca@hon.org
(615) 298-1108 Ext. 406

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Mayor Karl Dean Encourages Businesses To Get Involved

Thanks to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean for his column in today’s Tennessean about ways businesses can get involved in volunteerism – including Hands On Nashville Day and the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge! Read the mayor’s column here.

HANDS ON NASHVILLE DAY
If your business or organization is interested in signing up for Hands On Nashville Day (coming up this Saturday, Sept. 22!), check out this page with all the info you need to know.

MAYOR’S WORKPLACE CHALLENGE
This is one of the coolest things about our city – individuals and organizations coming together to make our community a better place for all. And the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge aims to achieve that in three categories: 1) Involved (volunteerism); 2) Green (sustainability); and 3) Healthy (this pretty much says it!)

Read more about the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge. And ask your boss if your company is participating.

Also, here’s a great upcoming opportunity for businesses to learn more about the “Involved” portion of the Challenge on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Hands On Nashville’s office:

Mayor’s Workplace Challenge: “Involved” Lunch & Learn
Thursday, Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hosted by KPMG and Hands On Nashville

Representatives of Nashville businesses and organizations are invited to a Lunch & Learn hosted by KPMG and Hands On Nashville to find out how to participate in the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge. Hear from representatives who have taken the challenge and learn how your business can get recognized by Mayor Dean for its civic involvement. Complimentary lunch will be provided by KPMG. RSVP by emailing Allison@hon.org.