Volunteerism Thrives at Amber Engine

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At Amber Engine, community culture isn’t just another buzzword. Our employees walk-the-talk and give back with volunteer hours to many different organizations that strive to make Detroit a great place to work and live.

Last quarter, we partnered with Urban Neighborhood Initiatives in Detroit. This amazing organization works to create safe and thriving environments to support a stronger community. They do so in three distinct ways: youth development, land use & economic development, and education.

It’s amazing to see the change in our employees after working with a motivated and powerful organization like UNI. Once people see that they CAN make a difference, the emotion and empowerment carry over into their day-to-day activities. 

This September, we’re joining forces with Arts & Scraps. Arts & Scraps defines themselves as “Education Reimagined” and annually recycles 28 TONS of materials through a creative program that helps 275,000 children think, learn and grow.

Not only is this innovative organization teaching kids the importance of eco-awareness, social responsibility and sustainability, they’re supporting the community at large. Through the sale of deeply discounted goods, they’re providing affordable options to neighbors while funding a scholarship program that assists children in need with their education.

The benefits of corporate philanthropy and volunteerism are obvious. However, some companies find it challenging to implement and sustain a program like ours.

The goal, of course, is to create connection – not only between employees, but between the company and the community and/or charitable organization. By taking the time to develop a true relationship, it becomes less of a task-list item and more of a perk or benefit. It becomes friends helping friends. In fact, some companies present volunteer efforts as a part of their benefits package.

Try identifying a few, key “Volunteer Team Leaders.” These individuals are naturally passionate about giving back and can influence others easily. This type of positive energy is exactly what offices need! So, find your champions and let them lead the way for others.

Also, be sure to offer a pay-off to the employees who participate. Maintain a relationship with the organization to later show your volunteers how their work made a difference – whether in pictures sent from the organization or notes from the benefactors. When people have viable proof that their hard work makes a positive impact in the community, they’re more likely to continue their efforts and bring others along for the next volunteer experience.

We say all this knowing that we're extremely lucky. Amber Engine is in Detroit, Michigan – a community rich with civic-minded individuals and businesses. Here, there is an unmistakable bond that brings people out to work together for the greater good of our city. So, if all your other internal efforts fail, you can always move your company to Detroit – where philanthropy is contagious and empowering others is a way of life!

Now, we want to hear from you. How do you get involved in corporate volunteer programs? What type of organizations does your business partner with? Are you able to see the shift in employee demeanor in your office the way we can in ours? Leave a comment below! We want to know how your company works to change the world.