Employees from Businesses of Any Size Inject Energy into Volunteer Program
Pledge This Year is an ongoing blog series throughout the month of January focused on volunteering with Good Shepherd Food Bank. It showcases the diversity of individuals and organizations that volunteer with the Food Bank and encourages readers to make the pledge to volunteer in 2017.
By Ryan Fecteau, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Providing time for employees to volunteer at Good Shepherd Food Bank may seem like a significant commitment that only the largest companies can make. As it turns out, however, small-and-medium-sized businesses develop robust volunteer programs as well. The all hands on deck approach at the Food Bank means any contributions of time, both long and short, result in meaningful help for those most-in-need.
ReVision Energy, a locally owned and operated business with a geographical footprint in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, installs a variety of renewable energy solutions including solar, heat pumps, and water heating for homes, businesses, and municipal buildings. The company provides its employees like Allison Gehnrich with paid volunteer hours. As a result, Gehnrich and her colleagues spend time at the Food Bank’s warehouse in Auburn.
“I think it is really important for companies to be more involved in their communities,” shares Gehnrich. “It should be something that employers prioritize.”
By prioritizing paid volunteer time, ReVision Energy gives its employees the opportunity to adopt meaningful connections to their communities. For employees of small-and-medium-sized businesses, these community connections deepen a sense of purpose both inside and outside of workplaces. In fact, Gehnrich notes that her time at the Food Bank enlightened her to the scope of the Food Bank’s hunger relief mission—a scope much larger than she knew.
“I actually didn’t realize [the Food Bank] serves the whole state of Maine,” Gehnrich acknowledges. “It was incredible to see the volume. It made me more aware of the work that you all do.”
The Food Bank’s flexible hours make volunteering accessible to employees at small-and-medium-sized businesses. Volunteer shifts encompass a few hours rather than a full-day. This approach makes it so employees can still dedicate part of their day to their workplaces.
“The Food Bank was really easy in a way. It’s only a half-day,” Gehnrich points out. “You can really make a huge impact in just a few hours. Some people think of volunteering as taking up days and consuming their busy lives.”
Making this commitment to the local community through paid volunteer hours aligns with ReVision Energy’s values. Gehnrich shared that the company is a Certified B Corporation. According to bcorporation.net, these certified companies “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”
“Helping our community is a really important part of our core and industry,” Gehnrich adds.
Gehnrich is now working with her colleagues to determine a regular schedule for volunteering each month at the warehouse. The sense of accomplishment combined with a warm welcome from other volunteers and staff gave her an urge to help out again and again.
“We had a great time up there,” Gehnrich summarizes. “We are thinking about doing every third week of the month since we enjoyed it so much.”
For more information about volunteering at Good Shepherd Food Bank, contact Bethany Tatro at 207-782-3554 ext 1169 or email@example.com. You can also visit https://www.gsfb.org/get-involved/volunteer/ for more information.
You can make the pledge to volunteer in 2017, visit Feeding America’s website: http://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/campaigns/volunteer/