Thanksgiving is a time when many Americans express their gratitude by giving back to the community. But many Americans also volunteer on a regular basis throughout the year. Even in our tough economic times, three-quarters (74%) of Americans plan to volunteer, donating their time and energy to help a good cause or charity, according to a survey sponsored by Tom’s of Maine. Tom’s is a maker of natural personal care products.
To aid the volunteer effort, Tom’s gives every employee 5% paid time off to work in a nonprofit of their choice and help their communities. The company also donates $150,000 to nonprofits around the country that are doing good deeds but need money. For the third year in a row, Tom’s has run a program called “50 States for Good” to encourage local nonprofits “to get some goodness going on.” The interesting twist is that anyone with a valid email address can cast a vote to determine the winning proposal. (Click on the image at right, today, to jump to the Tom’s site.)
The grand prize winner this year, collecting $50,000, is the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy. The Conservancy is dedicated to reforesting Galveston Island. According to Tom’s announcement of the prize winners: “NeighborWoods provides free tree plantings to interested neighborhoods. Trees filter air, lower stormwater runoff and pollutants, boost tourism, retail sales and help wildlife. With increased funding, NeighborWoods anticipates over 700 trees will be planted by 300-plus volunteers in 2012 to help replace the 40,000 trees lost to Hurricane Ike.”
Is Tom’s of Maine a good model for companies?
Do you plan to volunteer this year?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.