5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!!! As the ball drops and fireworks boom, many of us begin setting our new year’s resolutions for 2023. Your list may include exercising more or reading more, but have you thought about adding serving your community to your resolutions list? Let’s be honest. The gym is too full in January anyways. There’s no time like the start of the new year to serve your community.
Maybe the last time you thought about community service was when you were in school, and you needed to get a certain amount of hours. Community service is not just for high school students. Many employers are now starting to offer “Volunteer Time Off,” a limited amount of hours that you can volunteer during the workday without having to take time off or use paid time off. For example, since Allen & Company joined LPL Financial, LPL Financial gives employees 16 hours annually to volunteer in the community. Whether you are newly retired or a high school student trying to get some hours, there are opportunities for you.
On my first day at Allen & Company 8 years ago, I received a paperweight that had our company’s four core values inscribed. These core values were to treat one another with dignity and respect; strive to find a better way; maintain the highest levels of integrity; and make a profound and positive difference. “Make a profound & positive difference” particularly stood out to me.
It is completely understandable to feel overwhelmed by all the information we are taking in daily from the endless “doomscrolling” on social media. 2023 is the perfect year to volunteer for something you are passionate about helps to keep your perspective in check, plus you’re helping improve your community!
One of the most life-changing volunteer experiences of my life was serving with the AmeriCorps Polk Reads program. I served as a literacy tutor working with elementary-age students alongside a diverse group of volunteers, ranging from college students to retired professionals. Every day I was able to help students at Title 1 schools with one-on-one tutoring. I loved seeing their confidence grow and their grades improve as we worked together. Literacy is the foundation for all educational aspects. By giving these students the time and attention they deserved, their reading skills would improve drastically. They would pass state exams that they had previously failed and progress to the next grade.
We currently have six living generations: The Greatest Generation; The Silent Generation; Baby Boomers; Generation X; Millennials; and Generation Z. While we’ve witnessed the generosity and beautiful legacy from these earlier generations, to this day, they are still giving of their time and resources to make a difference. Even the newest “kids” on the block, Gen Z, are making impacts that can help make the world a better place. If you’re looking for a place to find an opportunity near you, visit volunteermatch.org. Don’t let age hold you back from making a profound and positive difference in your community!