Giving Back to Your Community
By Tyler Van Surksum
Each person has unique skills and talents that we can all offer to our communities. Volunteering our time is a great way to offer those talents to others. Not only is volunteering in your community beneficial to yourself as an individual, but it also has positive effects on your business, neighborhood, and your city. It can strengthen your relationships with those around you, introduce you to people you would have never met, and make an impact on the people within your community. However, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to start. There are many different opportunities and ways to begin.
- Contact your workplace about a service day. Many businesses will have a ‘day of service’ where coworkers can go out into their community and work on group service projects. Through the Iowa Society of CPAs, many accountants participate in the month of service which takes place every September. We’re encouraged to go out as a business and give to our communities. If your workplace does not offer something like this, I would encourage you to ask about it.
- Fix and serve meals. In 2019, more than 37 million Americans struggled with hunger, including more than 11 million children. Places like Feeding America and Meals from the Heartland allow groups to come in and package up meals to be sent to people struggling with hunger. It’s a great way to build relationships with people you already know or get to know new people that you otherwise wouldn’t have met.
- Serve on a community/nonprofit board. If you have the administrative skills or business knowledge, serving on a board could be a great way to better your community. Decide what organizations in your city you feel passionate about and see if they have any openings to serve on their board or just volunteer with them.
- Give blood. If you are able, one of the best investments you can make is to give blood. Each blood donation saves around 3 lives, and more often then not, there is a great need for it. Contact LifeServe, or your local community blood center, to see how you can help them.
These are just a few of the several ways you can start to get involved with your community. It’s easy to talk yourself out of it by saying you don’t have time. However, there is always a demand for volunteers. The feeling of helping others will stay with you and your business. There’s no better time to get started than right now.
Tyler Van Surksum | Staff Accountant