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Synter Resource Group Volunteering Blog

Community Service & Philanthropy

Volunteer Opportunities for Spring

Volunteer Opportunities for Spring

If you’re looking for ways to make a positive impact on your community this spring, there are many ways you can give something back. From volunteering to donating, here are a few things you can do to help the less fortunate.

Donate Old Books

Unless you’re the type who reads the same books over and over, you likely have a supply of old books sitting around. Instead of letting them gather dust, give them to people who will appreciate them as much as you did. Schools, colleges, libraries, and hospitals are just a few places always looking for reading material.

Send Care Packages Overseas

All over the world, we have soldiers serving in our military. They’re far from home and may not hear from family often enough. You can brighten their day with a handwritten letter and some food. Operation Gratitude and Give2TheTroops can tell you what’s permissible to send. It’s recommended that you only sign your first name to the letter, however, as a safety precaution.

Donate Clothes

There are many organizations that need clothes they can pass onto the homeless, poor, or battered women. If you have old clothes that are still in good condition, donate them to a women’s shelter, The Salvation Army, or Goodwill. Someone will be happy to receive those clothes sitting in the back of your closet.

Organize a Sleep Out

This is an event people organize to draw attention to the plight of the homeless in their communities. It involves sleeping outside in public areas, where you can educate the public and accept donations. In many cities, there are restrictions on where you can host a sleep out, so make sure you get permission from an area school, charity, or from the city ahead of time.

Volunteer to Work with Animals

Animal shelters are often looking for volunteers to help them care for the animals. Be sure to ask about the requirements for volunteering, such as age restrictions. This can be an opportunity for you to get some volunteer experience, while also improving the lives of the animals.

Whatever causes touch your heart the most, there are sure to be volunteer opportunities for you to pursue. Check your local organizations and find out more about the volunteering process. Whether you choose to work with the homeless, volunteer at hospitals or hospices, or work on environmental causes, there’s a place waiting for you.

Encourage Volunteering

Encourage Volunteering

The state of giving in America is unfortunately volatile. Despite the best efforts of many, including former presidents, the number of individuals that volunteer has steadily declined in the last decade. Though volunteering is still popular in the United States compared to other countries—organizations such as fire departments and child protective services are built on the labors of volunteers—it’s worth examining the reasons for this drop and what might be done to reverse it.

This stagnation of volunteering is in part due to the way nonprofits are run. Passionate leadership is part of the appeal of a nonprofit organization, but when these leaders try to get by solely on their own dedication to a cause, problems arise with employees. Not running a nonprofit like a business is sure to spell disaster—any organization has to consider the needs of its employees and the way it handles its products or services.

The first way to address this is for organizations to spend more time preparing their volunteers. Nobody wants to work for a company that refuses to train them, so why should volunteering be any different? Even for a nonprofit, time and capital must be invested to create an engaged and knowledgeable roster of volunteers. They should also be actively involved in what these individuals do, working to manage them as they would manage other employees. In the nonprofit sector, a little bit of internal support goes a long way.

That said, government funding for volunteer organizations has also declined as of late. This makes it difficult for nonprofits to justify outreach programs and ways to cultivate volunteers. They should consider investing in making the process as easy as possible. Make facilities welcoming, provide transportation to and from work locations if applicable, and give volunteers evidence of the good that their work accomplishes.

With nonprofits struggling to secure the funding that they need, some businesses are also stepping up to provide hands toward a specific cause. Whether partnered with a relevant organization or putting forth the effort themselves, business volunteering programs have risen to fill a void. These companies can integrate giving into their culture and build a group of employees willing to help out.

The execution of these plans is as varied as the companies that create them. Some offer paid time off for employees to volunteer, while others may incentivize these kinds of actions with bonuses or recognition. Whatever the impetus, corporate volunteering plans still need the kind of care necessary to run a nonprofit.

For instance, giving employees leeway to volunteer wherever they’d like (within reason) is a great way to make them enthusiastic about one of these plans. Company leadership should be as communicative as possible, outlining opportunities and leveraging specific employee skills to give back in a meaningful way.

Whether volunteering through a nonprofit or your place of employment, any work that you can do will be appreciated. In this time when measurably fewer are giving back, take the time to be exceptional and break the mold. Likewise, businesses and nonprofits should consider the impact they can have by reevaluating their volunteering programs and providing the support needed for anybody to excel.

Family Friendly Volunteering

Family Friendly Volunteering

Doing good is not simply something that can be accomplished once to achieve some kind of karmic balance; it should be an integral part of an individual’s lifestyle. Worth noting is that the type of positive work matters less than you’d think. While it’s true that some types of volunteering, particularly abroad, can actually be detrimental to locals, many opportunities in your own hometown can be found that will genuinely make an impact.

Additionally, this attitude of selflessness can be taught. Children can easily be shown that their actions can make a positive difference on those around them, and carry those values through their entire lives. Consider the benefits of getting the entire family involved in volunteering.

That said, it can be difficult to sell children on the idea that they should dedicate their time to helping others. It pays to make them part of the process before you even figure out what you’ll be doing. Everyone in the family has different schedules, so sit down and talk about which opportunities everyone is willing and able to pursue. For sure, there’s a lot out there—see if things like helping with food drives, participating in cleaning a local park or street, or collecting clothing interest your children. There are even ways to investigate volunteer opportunities in your area!

When choosing an idea, be sure to mold your efforts to something appropriate for the age of your children. Younger children may be less adept at cleaning up a park, but well-suited to packing boxes of clothing for the less fortunate. As they get older, the potential to help out with manual labor—possibly even raking leaves or shoveling snow for neighbors in need—increases. That’s not to say that you should force any kind of work on your children. The idea here is to foster a love of volunteering and the notion that they can make a difference. Making these efforts a huge chore for them may cause them to grow resentful and be less willing to pursue opportunities in the future.

Even beyond going out and volunteering, there are still ways to instill the giving spirit in children. Talking to them about donating toys and clothing they’ve outgrown can put them in the mindset to give back. Explain the benefits that their old belongings can have to another child. Then, try organizing a clothing or toy drive with that in mind; if they show enthusiasm for the idea, they may go above and beyond when trying to help!

Which brings us to an important part of volunteering as a family: leverage the enthusiasm of your children. If there’s a cause or project they’re particularly passionate about, support their efforts! After you’ve accomplished something, celebrate with dinner and talk about what you can do next time to continue the initiative. After all, volunteering goes best when it becomes a habit.

Volunteering and community involvement are not things that need to be left to adults. Having an honest discussion with children about the benefits of giving back can profoundly affect their lives, and encourage them to do good in the world wherever they may go.

Synter Resource Group Cares About Our Community

Synter Resource Group was founded to serve the Transportation Industry with a never-ending quest to build better processes. For over a decade, we have brought that same mindset to our community stewardship. Synter is proud to serve in key initiatives for some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and we never stop working toward a better future.

 

We are always looking for opportunities to improve and preserve all of the great things about our community in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

At Synter Resource Group, we believe that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. Our passionate staff has participated in all sorts of outreach projects. Some extend off-site to local schools, churches, or community buildings, while others take place right in our own office! No matter what, we aim to bring volunteer work to the forefront of our business and of our wonderful city, so that we can inspire others to get involved as well.

The concept of community has been woven into the fabric of Synter Resource Group since day one. We know that collaboration is crucial — and this sentiment rings just as true when it comes to building our own company culture. We have worked hard to create an inclusive, supportive, and downright exciting place for our staff to work and thrive. We also regularly organize events like employee cookouts, picnics, and outings.

Synter Resource Group is headquartered in a 28,000 square foot facility in Charleston, South Carolina. We are the largest business process outsourcing (BPO) company serving the transportation and logistics industry in North America. Synter was named as one of INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses in 2012. We were also recognized in INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses in 2016 (list pending) and in the South Carolina Top Workplaces 2017 program.

Organizations Synter has Partnered With:

  • United Way
  • Adopt-A-Highway
  • The Greater Charleston First Tee Organization
  • Adopt a Family Christmas campaign
  • Angel’s Touch
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital