If there is an upside to the economic turmoil that’s plagued 2009, it is that it has renewed Americans’ spirit of service to others. And the icing on the giving-back cake is that, as part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, September 11 is now recognized as the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance. A date already engraved in the memories of Americans, September 11 is well-suited for a day of service, to remember those lost and to celebrate those who volunteered time and even risked their lives to save others during the tragedy of 2001.
However, the national call-to-service is not only aimed at individuals. It is also motivation for businesses and organizations to address the needs of the communities where they operate. Many organizations have already responded, establishing programs that motivate employees to roll up their sleeves and get to work for their neighbors.
To spur the business community’s involvement in economic recovery, the U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) created a collaborative campaign called “Together For Recovery.” And today, the BCLC is featuring various community service projects that companies are undertaking to celebrate the first annual National Day of Service and Remembrance. To name a few:
- IBM employees will volunteer in Washington, D.C., making quilts for children of deployed service members with Greater DC Cares.
- GlaxoSmithKline will host an employee volunteer project in the Harlem Children's Zone, during which GSK employees will lead class discussions with school children about H1N1 prevention and other healthy lifestyle topics.
- Hasbro’s employee volunteers will come together to assemble much-needed kits for two worthy organizations – World Vision and Birthday Wishes.
Although ranging in sector and scale, these organizations can serve as inspiration for others to come together for social good. When businesses or organizations encourage volunteerism, individual contributions can be elevated to an effective, collective effort for change. Are you doing something special to celebrate this day of service? Tell us about it by leaving a comment.