Does your workplace set up volunteer opportunities once or twice a year?
Without minimizing the value of this, Oswald Companies’ employee-owners wanted their days of service to be more meaningful.
Team members at this independent insurance and risk management brokerage firm in Bloomfield Hills wanted to be more than “one-and-done” volunteers.
Regular contact is key.
“We decided that our quarterly ‘Days of Caring’ with various nonprofits were great, but they didn’t let us develop a relationship with any of these organizations or the people they served.
Two years ago, we decided to up the ante. We still volunteer with a bunch of different nonprofits that resonate with our employees, but now we focus on serving the homeless community through monthly visits to Pope Francis Center in Detroit,” says Cathy Kosin, Senior Vice President, local Market Leader.
“When we volunteer there, we’re fully invested. We know guests by name, worry about them between visits, and see them as people who share our same basic needs. I don’t know if we all would have gotten to this place without regular contact.”
“We also started collecting additional donation items before each monthly visit,“ Kosin adds.
Oswald employee-owners believe volunteerism benefits more than the people your organization serves.
On a recent Friday afternoon, nearly everyone in the Oswald office worked in teams to make fleece blankets for Pope Francis Center’s guests. Creating physical warmth for people who don’t have this simple comfort warmed everybody, connecting co-workers and community members. Through projects like this, Oswald employee-owners feel part of a larger purpose, all rowing together toward a goal that surpasses the financial bottom line.
Oswald Companies wants to recognize others who realize that it’s not only the people on the receiving end who benefit from volunteerism. The business will select one individual, nonprofit organization or small business that shares the same commitment to making a difference.
Oswald will celebrate the winner by donating to the deserving charitable cause of their choice.
“We advocate spreading the halo effect that makes us all happier, more productive corporate citizens,” Kosin said.