Company-Wide Community Partnership Day

Impact Area

Help Neighbors in Need

Volunteer Group Name & URL

Multiple volunteer groups, businesses, families, etc.

Organization Served & URL

A Wider Circle

Project Goal/Description

To help connect an entire organization to the issues of poverty in their community and ways they can help end poverty through volunteerism. A Wider Circle is a nonprofit organization providing holistic support to families in need, including furnishing homes for families transitioning out of domestic violence or homeless shelters, or who are simply living without what most of us take for granted- beds, dressers, sheets, towels, and other basic need items. We also provide educational programs on topics ranging from job skills and money management to stress management and other life skills. We work with families living in extreme poverty, and we do our best to help them move toward stability and independence.

Timeline for Planning

  • Eight weeks– meeting between the community service committee of the company and A Wider Circle
  • Three weeks– outline tasks using the projected number of total volunteers
  • Two weeks– make a schedule for the day, including volunteer arrivals, orientations and lunch, and confirm available parking
  • One week– recruit team leaders, finalize tasks, send out parking and orientation materials to volunteers, purchase materials
  • Day before event– set up the space for the volunteers, brief team leaders on activities
  • Day of event– have team leaders arrive early

How Many Volunteers

Approximately 150 volunteers of various ages, working shifts of four hours each

How Was This Publicized to Recruit Volunteers?

Volunteer tasks include: -Family Garden Projects for Sibley Plaza (a low-income senior living facility) -Painters -Mattress Movers and Steamers -Cleaning Crew -Household Items Department Sorters and Attendants -Toy Department Sorters and Attendants -Furniture Loading for Clients -Furniture Assembly and Repairs -Computer/Lamination Tasks

Required Facilities, Materials & Expenses

Facilities/Space: 'The volunteer activity took place at our 21,000 square-foot Center that includes two furniture showrooms, a large furniture storage facility, a toy department, and a household items departmeent.' 
Project supplies: Paint, brushes, cleaning and gardening supplies:  total cost of less than $250 

Key Steps Include:

  • Meetings with the organization’s planning committee
  • Creating a detailed list of volunteer tasks, with the appropriate number of people assigned to each task
  • Recruiting team leaders to guide volunteers as they work on their assigned tasks
  • Having sign-up sheets for specific tasks on the day of the event

Challenges

• Managing nearly 150 volunteers • Having enough tasks for volunteers as young as five years old • Getting 150 people assigned to tasks in the most time-efficient manner

Group Type

BusinessNonprofitService Club

Strategic Priority Addressed

Affordable Housing in an Inclusive Community

Result

• Twenty families transitioning out of homeless shelters, domestic violence, or simply living without their basic needs received much-needed (and free) furniture, as well as a lot of human connection and support. • The warehouse facilities were painted and cleaned from top to bottom. • Hundreds of seedlings were planted for the garden at Sibley Plaza (a low-income senior living facility). • Over 30 changing tables were assembled for moms unable to purchase them for their babies. • Over 150 volunteers were able to interact with the people they were helping, and they were able to see the direct impact of their service throughout the day.

Special Points of Interest

Key Steps:

  • Meetings with the organization’s planning committee
  • Creating a detailed list of volunteer tasks, with the appropriate number of people assigned to each task
  • Recruiting team leaders to guide volunteers as they work on their assigned tasks
  • Having sign-up sheets for specific tasks on the day of the event