Volunteering for community projects is not only for the philanthropists or employed social workers. Being a part of social projects which benefit the society, specifically those who belong to the less privileged communities, can be a passion for full-time and employed workers. When you give back or something from yourself, including time, this doesn’t only benefit the receivers of the good will, but you also gain valuable experience from the act itself.
As personal experiences and even the world’s largest organization for volunteer services Point of Light says, volunteering for the community brings a person physical and emotional well-being. For the employee volunteer, the opportunity of being part of something as important as community engagement is one that no amount of money can buy.
One company that maintains its employee volunteerism program (EVP) is SM, which has won local and international awards for its CSR campaigns through SM Cares. The company gives its employees opportunities to be part of its programs for persons with disability (PWD), elderly, children, women, senior citizens, and less privileged communities.
“I really enjoy doing such activities with my colleagues. It makes me feel better and reminds me of my childhood days when even the simplest gift and show of concern from someone will bring you genuine happiness,” said Kevin Bonifacio, a Resident Engineer of SM City Tarlac. Through the mall’s Adopt a Daycare program, Kevin was able to take time off from his work and spend it meaningfully for underprivileged kids of their community.
Needless to say, employees who are given a chance by their employers to take part in community engagement become motivated and get a morale boost. Mall Manager Michael Uy affirms that the experience is humbling. A volunteer at SM North EDSA’s Brigada Eskwela, he helped repair damaged classroom furniture and repaint walls of a public school. “It inspires us to work harder. The most fun part is the teamwork that all volunteers had during the whole activity,” Michael shared.
SM’s EVPs get big participation from its employee base. For the benefit of public schools, about 2,500 employees contributed their time, effort and personal resources for the activities. A program for the elderly gathered 67% of the total population of SM employees as volunteers, while a Christmas EVP received 66% participation, with 75% coming from mall-based employees.
Eventually, employee volunteerism leads to both personal and professional growth. Those who volunteer in company CSR programs became more engaged at work, creating a more dynamic and positive office culture. They develop better communication and leadership skills and become more fulfilled in their respective jobs. More importantly, they become more appreciative of the kind of work they do in and out of the four walls of the office.