Giving Back to the Community
A child’s eyes light up.
A hungry family is fed.
A just-like-new coat is handed to someone out in the cold.
A student finds a new path.
As the year draws to a close, it is natural to think of friends, family, and the people who make your business possible. It is also time to think of the community at large, and how your company makes a difference in it every day — and how it can have an impact during the holiday season.
NJMEP has established an ongoing program called Manufacturing Cares. This initiative helps manufacturers give back to the community throughout the year with food drives, volunteerism, and donations. Your business can use this initiative to help those in need. Or you may want to stay local, or explore other options.
Some opportunities include:
- Operation Santa through the United States Post Office. This year marks the 104th anniversary of a program that fulfills the dreams of children nationwide. For information about how your company can adopt a letter (or several), click here.
- Bulletin boards at local schools. Many districts post anonymous requests from needy children in their communities on bulletin boards in the school’s main office. (A tag might read, for example, “Boy, age 10, size large winter coat.”) Most gifts requested are warm winter clothing and small electronics. Employees can pick up tags at their schools and bring them into the workplace. You can set up a donation fund — with a cap — including seed money from the company itself, appoint shoppers for the gifts, and even hold a “wrapping party” before the gifts are brought back to the necessary drop-off points by their designated due dates.
- Animal shelters. The company can set up a fund to defray costs and solicit contributions, and employees can deliver blankets, pet food, and toys to a local animal shelter.
- Toy drives. Your business can sponsor a toy drive, and pick a delivery destination, or you can collect toys to drop off at a local fire station that is having its annual toy drive.
- Start a volunteer program. Businesses can participate in local, year-round charitable efforts by working at soup kitchens, or volunteering at food banks. Employees can also make a difference by bringing their knowledge into the classroom. Engineers, mechanics, technicians, and others can teach or demonstrate their skill sets, creating a new generation of students informed about manufacturing. Put the program in place now, recruit volunteers, and be ready to go in the new year.
Whatever you choose to do, giving back reaps rewards to your company itself. It helps establish a good reputation. It improves the community you are centered in. It builds respect from and between employees themselves. It establishes a common bond among workers. It even forwards networking among peers in the manufacturing industry.
Most of all, it brings feelings of good will, warmth, and joy to those in your community.
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