Celebrating Global Volunteer Month
Posted by AMH Team
8m read time
Apr 12, 2023
At AMH, the concepts of community and belonging are at the heart of what we do. At our core, we work to help people feel safe and happy in their homes and in the neighborhoods that we build for them. That means we’re intrinsically invested in the growth, success, and well-being of the surrounding communities where we live, work, and operate, too.
Guided by our value of caring for people, we strive to support our residents and neighbors and strengthen our relationships with local communities by encouraging our employees to join us in giving back through volunteerism.
In addition to providing paid time off every year to participate in company-sponsored charitable events and activities, in 2022, we launched an internal platform to further facilitate our team’s engagement in our corporate social responsibility efforts. This online portal provides user-friendly, web-based tools that enable them to find and connect with nonprofits and volunteer opportunities in their regions and give to charitable organizations of their choice through payroll deduction.
As a result, our colleagues logged hundreds of service hours last year, collecting essential items through food and toy drives, beautifying and restoring natural spaces, supporting disaster relief efforts, and delivering material donations to households in need, all in partnership with dozens of local non-profits, charities, food banks, and shelters.
This April, in celebration of Global Volunteer Month, we asked some of these dedicated and generous team members to share their motivations, insights, and advice for getting involved in community investment and social impact initiatives. We’re proud to share just a few of the many voices who are leading by example at our organization:
“With volunteering, I find that the journey is its own reward. The experience that I’m most proud of has been participating in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for 7 years. Together, we’ve raised thousands of dollars and walked over 100 miles. Through these efforts, we have also supported our teammates in their own personal experiences with cancer, either with themselves or their families.
If you’re not sure where to start, think about what you are passionate about and find something that can support that drive. Get a group together and start talking about the possibilities. Research the work involved and choose the best one that gives you the fire to participate and meets your needs. There are so many needs out there, and so many great organizations that we can support.
I’m personally most passionate about awareness and advocacy for persons with disabilities, and my favorite organizations to support are the small ones because they don’t get as much attention and you can see the impact of your efforts, whether it’s collecting food for our local food bank, decorating duffle bags for children in foster care, assisting our local home for children and adults with developmental disabilities, or making homemade masks for nurses on the front lines in 2020.
Through these experiences, I have learned that I can always find a way to help. During the pandemic, we had to think outside the box to accomplish our volunteerism goals. We banded together and made homemade toys together virtually for shelter animals. We spread awareness of Breast Cancer in the October months and walked, united, in our own neighborhoods.
When we collected toys, games, and activity books for kids and their parents staying at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, we learned more about the patients and what their families endure in the days, weeks, and months that they stay at Lurie’s. It’s easy to forget there are families that put their lives on hold to care for their young ones, and they need our support, too. We were touched by the outpouring of gratitude for providing these much-needed items.
Big or small, there is always something you can do to help. Volunteering is challenging, but in the best ways. And, at AMH, our volunteers are focused on doing the most good each year.”
“I’m very fortunate to have my health and be self-sufficient, so to be able to give back in any way I can is really important to me. AMH has always supported our communities, not just by providing donations but also facilitating team members opportunities to participate in that support, too. I’m not sure a lot of people can say that about their company, and it shows me as an employee how much they care.
I’ve participated in many volunteer events throughout my six years with AMH, from picking up trash and organizing company donation events to delivering donations and doing food prep. At the top of my list of causes I’m personally most passionate about are those that benefit children. Ronald McDonald House and Project 150 are two local charities that I support as an individual.
We never know what someone else is going through. To be able to help those who need it is what I find most rewarding, and I’m grateful to work for an organization that provides us the time to do so. By participating in these efforts, I’ve learned this about myself: when I retire someday, I will continue to volunteer in some capacity until I’m unable to.”
“Volunteering allows us to come together and work in common cause to better our communities and in turn better ourselves. It’s rewarding to get out from behind the desk and get our hands dirty in the desert sunshine doing good. In volunteering with AMH, I have learned that I don’t do enough in the community. The needs are so great.
Our team has assembled boxes of food for the holidays, cleaned up green spaces near a school, and supported one of the state’s largest hunger-relief organizations. On an individual level, one of the organizations I’m most passionate about is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which has helped develop some medicines that my family is extremely grateful for.
Life has afforded all of us blessings beyond measure. It’s important to recognize that and make an effort to appreciate them and try to pass them forward to others.”
“I have been volunteering with AMH for ten years. What I find most rewarding is the feeling that I’m making a small difference. I personally feel there is no greater reward than when you give to another with no expectation of receiving anything back. I walk away feeling I received the better deal each time. The more time I spend volunteering, the more encouraged I become that we all can make a difference.
As a team leader for our local volunteering efforts, it’s been a great joy to encourage first-time volunteers and see how emotional it can be when they feel they have made a positive impact in someone else’s life. To those who are considering getting involved, I’d recommend finding a cause that you’re passionate about. We are all busy, and all wake up with the same hours in a day, so it’s up to you to find something that you’re willing to prioritize and take the time to invest in.
Something I’m passionate about is supporting the homeless. I keep kits in my car to give out whenever I spot someone in need. One day, while driving with my husband in downtown Cincinnati, I spotted a young lady out in freezing temperatures. We stopped and handed her a bag with a warm hat, scarf, and gloves, as well as snacks and personal items. I remember her smile as she put them on. That could be my child, or yours, so give with your whole heart, without expectations, without judgment.”
“Volunteering offers a unique combination of making a positive impact on the world around us, and serving as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have even basic necessities like shelter and food.
Throughout the past several years, I have been proudly volunteering at the SOVA Valley food pantry in Van Nuys, CA, which distributes a five-day supply of free groceries and personal hygiene products to any member of the community in need.
As I continue my volunteerism journey, I am reminded of the struggles many are facing daily and that the effort of a single person can help improve the life of others. Volunteering is rarely glamorous and never easy, especially for those with many other pressures on their time. But few things count more when it comes to reflecting on life than knowing that you made a difference.”
“One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to the community and make it a better place. But volunteering is a two-way street: it benefits you as much as the cause you choose to help. Volunteering is an easy way to explore your interests and passions, and doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be an energizing escape from the day-to-day routine of work.
Through volunteering, I’ve personally learned about gratitude. I feel fortunate to be in a position to help the many struggling souls in my community. I’m most proud of participating annually in a Walk MS, a fundraiser for research into multiple sclerosis, a disease my mother passed away from. I’ve also participated in Habitat for Humanity with the Cincinnati district team and, for the past three years, served as Treasurer of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, donating my time and financial resources.
Through these experiences, I’ve been able to make a positive impact on the lives of those less fortunate and, in return, I’ve gained so much appreciation for my abundant blessings.”
“We are blessed to work for an organization that helps foster and promote giving back. I feel fortunate to be able to give some of my time and money to help others who need a helping hand (or to support an animal organization—we cannot forget our furry friends!).
Our Tampa office has been involved with supporting the homeless through Dawning Family Services since shortly after Hurricane Ian razed through Florida. We’ve held three events that included delivering donations and bringing employees together to show our support for their cause. It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to help support an organization whose mission is to provide housing for families and children, which also aligns with what we do as professionals at AMH.
My advice to anyone interested in getting involved is to just do it: take a friend or family member with you to participate, and enrich your heart with a positive, meaningful life experience.”
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