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Increase Community Engagement Around the Holidays

Military connected individuals exude a desire to volunteer and give back. This is why they joined the service in the first place and this characteristic does not fade when they transition out of the military. According to the America’s Warrior Partnership Community Integration Survey, the top 3 resources veterans are seeking are opportunities to participate in recreational activities, to connect with other military-connected individuals, and to volunteer. Being a part of the community through event participation and volunteerism not only provides veterans a sense of purpose, but it also helps them grow their network of support. That is why our Corporate Veteran Initiative works with companies to increase engagement and participation in both community and corporate events. With the holidays coming up and a focus on spreading holiday cheer, it is the perfect time of the year to plan an event for your employees offering them camaraderie and an opportunity to give back. Here are a few ways your company can increase community engagement over the holidays:


  • Organizational Toy or Food Donation With lots of sales and discounts extending well through December, now is an awesome time to pick up some toys without breaking the bank to donate to Toys for Tots. There are opportunities available for corporate partnerships, and you can learn more by clicking here: https://www.toysfortots.org/corporate_sponsors/annual-corporate-sponsors/default.aspx. Also, if you live near a military base please keep in mind that every base has a family services center. These centers aid families with parents who are deployed, those that are up for adoption, families in divorce situations, orphaned children, and others. They make fantastic donation options as well. Also consider the fact that the Boy Scouts, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and local religious groups all would be willing to assist you in helping Santa get toys out this year!


  • Volunteer at your local War Veterans Home, Nursing Home, and Hospice Care Facility As a military-inspired organization that prides itself on respect for others, we love our elders! There are three major ways employees can participate at a home for the elderly: share skills, volunteer time, or donate. Elders need assistance with various aspects of daily life such as assistance with technology, legal aid, financial aid, and connection to additional external resources. Older veterans and citizens also have a reputation for enthusiasm when it comes to sharing a meal, conversation, or a nice walk with volunteers who are willing to get to know them. Spending time with older citizens can be extremely rewarding, as they possess the knowledge and actual life experiences from different eras, cultures, and maybe even war zones. Please consult the housing organization before bringing supplies in, but generally, elderly citizens can make great use of items such as tissues, make-up, razors, denture supplies, over-the-counter medications, blankets, photo albums, postal supplies, telecommunications assistance, and sleepwear. Employers can send their employees in groups or simply encourage community participation by creating incentives such as planned days off or other rewards for volunteer services rendered.


  • Participate in Community Beautification Locations like Madison, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Newberry, South Carolina are a few examples of places in the East Coast of the United States where the quality of life is high, crime is relatively low for their size, and property values continue to rise because people want to live there. High value communities boast strong communities, wonderful citizen resources, and outdoor spaces that are clean and safe. Military Installations usually share these same traits because the importance of community upkeep is deeply ingrained into the service culture. It makes all the difference in the world if citizens work to keep their homes, business, and structures freshly painted and updated. We are always looking for new plans to connect military employees to other volunteer organizations. Ideas such as painting a veteran’s home, cleaning up a local park, or supplying updated décor to a local community center can result in big-time changes to the desirability of the communities where your organization is located and will add a sense of pride to your fellow citizens.

At America’s Warrior Partnership we encourage philanthropy and volunteerism because it is great for our fellow neighbors and we believe it’s rewarding to our veteran community to have opportunities to continue to serve. If you are looking for more ideas or if you need to get connected to a volunteer organization, please feel free to contact me at jwilson@americaswarriorpartnership.org. Thanks to everyone out there doing an amazing job making the world a better place, and happy holidays to all!


About the Corporate Veteran Initiative America’s Warrior Partnership’s Corporate Veteran Initiative (CVI) empowers businesses to develop and implement workplace solutions to enable veterans to thrive in their careers and become valuable assets to their employers. The Corporate Veteran Initiative accomplishes this by providing businesses with insights, guidance, and training to improve engagement of veterans in the workplace through a three-phase approach: Assess a company’s current workplace culture; Serve veteran employees through a customized veteran-engagement program, and Retain veteran employees by providing long-term guidance and support for both the company and employees.

For more information about CVI contact Josh Wilson, 706-306-1283 or jwilson@americaswarriorpartnership.org.

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