When the list of charities hits the web today, the second part
of EmoryGives new workplace-giving campaignthe volunteer
componentwill be under way.
Descriptions, volunteer opportunities and contact information for
14 Atlanta and Oxford-area charitable organizations are now available
on the EmoryGives website (www.emorygives.emory.edu)
for faculty and staff members interested in volunteering their time
for a good cause.
I applaud Emory for building in this volunteer component,
because giving in your community is about giving both your time
and your money, said Alice Rolls, executive director of Earth
Share of Georgia, one of EmoryGives six partner federations.
When you build in these elements where people are actually
going out to a facility and seeing first hand the work an organization
doeswhere theyre outside planting treesit becomes
much more personal. So, when the campaign season rolls, around that
will hopefully energize those people to be more involved,
The volunteering component came about in response to the comments
of many employees who were seeking other avenues of charitable donation
beyond money. When Emorys workplace-giving campaign was reborn
as EmoryGives last year, it consisted of two phases: the falls
monetary campaign and the volunteer push in the spring.
The fall giving campaign was an unqualified success, raising nearly
$450,000 from Emory employees, its highest total ever. And more
than 350 people who donated in the fall checked a box indicating
they would be interested in volunteering their time as well.
That put Michelle Smith and her staff to work.
Smith, director of corporate giving, consulted with each of EmoryGives
six charitable partners as well as on-campus organizations like
the Employee Council, Volunteer Emory, the Office of University-Community
Partnerships and Human Resources to uncover volunteering opportunities.
Smith found several one-time eventslike a May 5 bicycling
event, or one of several tree plantingsas well as ongoing
opportunities, like volunteering at a local childrens hospital.
She pooled them, picked a manageable amount (25 events in all),
then pulled together the most important facts, including phone numbers
and website and e-mail addresses. All that information is available
on the EmoryGives website. Flyers and other promotional materials
advertising the campaign also will be making their way across campus.
The responsibility for volunteering is up to the employee; EmoryGives
is not administrating or organizing any specific programs. Instead,
it is passing along information to employees who then can choose
the opportunity that is best for them.
All we ask is that employees, when they sign up and volunteer,
tell people they are from Emory, so those agencies can then tell
us who came, Smith said. EmoryGives isnt interested
in names, Smith said, but numbers.
EmoryGives volunteer offerings are quite varied. There are
artistic opportunities (National Black Arts Festival), alternative
transportation entities (Atlanta Bicycle Campaign), a charity convenient
to Oxford College (Keep Covington Clean and Beautiful) and several
I try to push volunteers to the delivery side, said
Greg Romanoski, volunteer coordinator for Project Open Hand, one
of the volunteer partners. The organization prepares and delivers
hot meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, homebound seniors and
others who cannot leave their homes because of illness or disability.
Thats about the only volunteer opportunity we have where
you can actually interact with the client. With a lot of our clients,
the only person they see during the day is our delivery person.
Project Open Hand, which is affiliated with Georgia Shares, another
EmoryGives federation, also has volunteer positions in its kitchens
and even opportunities for young children to participate by coloring
goodie bags for delivery.
Were promoting this as an opportunity for staff to
get together outside the workplace, said Cheryl Bowie, Employee
Council president. You get the sense that your employer is
interested in you not just for the work hours you do, but to enhance
your total being.
We spend so much time in our jobs, and to actually go out
with your co-workers and do something completely different is great
for team building and it builds a sense of pride for your workplace,
Smith said that next year she hopes to get the volunteer component
rolling a bit earlier in the spring (perhaps by March), and it may
include a different set of charities. She said her office will be
contacting people in the near future who indicated volunteer interest
with their fall donation.