It Starts With Us

by Alessandra Cavalluzzi

We have the power to make a great impact in our community.  By “we”, I don’t just mean individuals.  I am talking to corporations with the ability to provide resources and talent to non-profits in need of hands-on help.  All the fundraising and collecting of products and donations are in vain if there aren’t people available to help non-profits run critical parts of their operations like distributing donations in the community. 

Case in point:  Yesterday I volunteered at United Way of Long Island with a group of amazing employees from my company.  We spent most of the day sorting and boxing up school supplies which United Way has collected as part of their annual “Stuff-A-Bus” campaign.  The supplies collected will be distributed to school districts in underserved communities.

Although I am aware of the need for volunteers because of what I do for a living, it still hits me every time I volunteer that the need for “helping hands” has never been more critical.

There were thousands of items to sort through, organize, and box up.  Several hundred boxes filled with supplies that needed to be stacked, organized, and prepared for delivery.  Without the help of volunteers like ours and those of other companies, there is simply no way the staff at United Way could have accomplished this monumental task.  Non-profits are stretched to the limit as is when it comes to staffing.  It’s up to us (the corporate world) to pitch in and help them achieve their missions.

Perhaps the best part of the day was watching some of the beneficiaries of this drive come in to pick up the supplies for their school and students.   Believe me when I tell you that there is no material object or bottled spirit that could produce the sort of euphoria that is felt when a recipient of these supplies thanks you from their heart.  It’s called the “volunteer’s high”, and something you need to experience to understand.  I highly recommend it!

Volunteering is good for the community. Volunteering is good for the soul.   There is no better way to lift your spirits than to lift up another.

Positive, lasting change starts with us. Lend a hand today.