United Way seminar shows companies how to start volunteer programsWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Area businesses can learn how to start an employee volunteer program at an Aug. 30 seminar.
“Engaging Your Employees to Serve Your Community” is put on by the Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC) in partnership with the United Way of Greater Toledo. The seminar will cover the value of employee volunteer work and how various sized companies have started their own programs.
“It’s really a valuable thing in our community. Any nonprofit couldn’t exist without volunteers,” said Gaye Martin, the CVC’s marketing/communications lead and ProMedica’s manager of community relations and advocacy.
CVC Chair Daphne Harris will kick off the seminar and Jennifer Vancil of Owens-Illinois will explain why a company should have a volunteer program. The three panelists, each representing a different size company, are Julie Payeff of The Andersons, Bruce DeBoer of MassMutual Financial and Don Rettig of Owens Corning. All speakers are CVC members.
The CVC was started this January as another way to encourage volunteering.
“[United Way] kind of started the concept and brought local corporations to the table and said this is what we think we need,” said Emily Avery, the volunteer center manager for the United Way of Greater Toledo. “Everything’s really taking off and it’s a really collaborative effort for them.”
A volunteer program shows that companies aren’t just there to make money, but also to help the community, she said. Furthermore, it can bring employees of all levels together.
“When you get down to the employee level, it really does build camaraderie and teamwork,” she said.
“People pay consultants money to do team building … some of these things are a natural team building experience,” Martin said.
Martin recently participated in a volunteer session between Habitat for Humanity and ProMedica.
“[Volunteering was] just fun. People were up on scaffolds on the roof. I’d do it again in a minute,” said Martin, who learned how to put on doorknobs.
During United Way’s Week of Caring, Sept. 10-14, companies and their employees are encouraged to volunteer in the community. So far, 1,000 employees have signed up for this year, Avery said, adding that several employees are doing volunteer work for Toledo Public Schools.
On Aug. 30, seminar-goers will receive a “tool kit” of easy ways to get involved with their own volunteer project and company profiles from businesses with volunteer programs. The seminar also gives businesspeople a chance to network and ask questions.
Company representatives from the Chrysler Group LLC, Owens Corning, Eaton Corp., ProMedica, Central Travel, MassMutual Financial, Owens-Illinois, UPS, the Huntington Center, SeaGate Centre, The Andersons, Fifth Third Bank and The Lathrop Company will be present at the event.
The free seminar is 7:30-9 a.m. Aug. 30 at the Eaton Corp., 1785 Indian Wood Circle. A light breakfast and coffee will be provided. Space is limited. Send RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org.