In Blog

Envisioning a New Model for Volunteering

hclWe partnered with HCL on their “Bring your sons and daughters to work at HCL” day hosted by the company’s Women Connect Network on May 1st. This endeavor was the first volunteer project that United Way hosted with a corporate partner, their employees and their children. With our new focus in Community Impact on families and children together, this was an opportunity to reflect that focus through volunteerism.

By hosting a volunteer project on a family-focused day, the company highlighted the importance of service. “HCL takes great pride in fulfilling our social responsibility and giving back to the community,” said Eugenia B. Jones, Diversity and Inclusion Partner at HCL.

The pre-teens and teens learned about the challenges that some of their peers experience right in their hometowns. Some children were so stirred by hearing about hungry children in the area that they overstuffed their meal kits and expressed a sincere desire to do more to help.

One of the HCL employees who brought her children to work on May 1st is Donna, from Durham. She brought her 14 year old daughter, Talayna, and her 12 year old son, Isaiah, to HCL for the day. She believes that volunteering can be an effort for the entire family, and sometimes the motivation to volunteer can come from a child in the family. Donna’s 14 year old daughter asked if she could volunteer at the same animal protection society from where she adopted her cat. Talayna aspires to become a veterinarian and loves animals; her mother has encouraged, and even volunteered with her once a month at their local animal protection society.

Because of the family’s experience volunteering already, Donna’s children were excited to participate in the United Way facilitated volunteer projects and together with 20 other children and adolescents at HCL, they:

  •         Assembled 250 healthy snack kits
  •         Created 77 bookmarks
  •         Created 153 flash card sets
  •         Created 69 encouragement cards for young readers

Through the HCL day, Donna and her children were able to forge good memories. Reflecting on that day, Donna says that her children felt encouraged and enjoyed helping put together packages and items that would bring a smile to other children in the Triangle. When asked why she wanted her children to participate in the “Bring your sons and daughters to work at HCL day,” Donna says that she wanted to continue to nurture her children’s desire to give back through volunteering, and to let them know that when they give back to the community, they are making a difference in the lives of others.

Donna hopes that her family will volunteer more and make an effort to do so year round. She excitedly encouraged United Way to “keep opportunities coming” for her family to connect and engage with the community. On our end, we’re eager to connect with other corporate and community partners to spark a tradition of intergenerational, year-round volunteerism through similar efforts as the “Bring your sons and daughters to work at HCL day.”