April is the Kindest Month: Four Ways to Spring into Action and Pay it Forward

by Tony Connor, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations

With the budding of trees in comes budding opportunities to make the world better. April is National Volunteer Month, and Pay it Forward Day is April 28, so now’s an ideal time to roll those sleeves up and help. There are so many ways to serve, but none more satisfying and effective than what we do with our colleagues and coworkers to make a collective difference. Here are some ideas to help your .ORG spring into action and pay it forward:

Adopt a Charity.

Set a goal to engage the whole staff in finding and supporting worthy causes together, whether it’s raising money for an animal shelter, adopting a kids’ sports league, or helping out at a soup kitchen. We, at Public Interest Registry (PIR), enjoy supporting a variety of local groups that offer life-improving and sustaining services, such as therapeutic horseback riding lessons for veterans and individuals with disabilities, giving warm coats to those in need, and providing back packs and school supplies for low-income students. Right now, there are many Covid-19-related initiatives your staff could support, including helping to feed hungry schoolchildren, aiding homeless families during this unprecedented crisis, and helping to get protective gear and medical equipment to the front lines.

Make it Part of Your Culture. 

At PIR, we are proud to offer an Employee Volunteer Program (EVP). It gives each of our staff members 40 hours each calendar year of paid volunteer time off. PIR employees have used this time to do important, hands-on good in the world, including providing meals for orphans in Uganda, participating in natural disaster relief, and performing song and dance numbers for senior citizens.  Importantly for PIR, community service has a global focus, enabling employee trips and missions domestically and abroad. While PIR employees can’t volunteer in person currently, many of us are pitching in simple ways, by checking on neighbors, shopping for the elderly, and sewing face masks for frontline workers like these amazing Washington, D.C.-area women.

Help Our Heroes.

Hiring a returning service member is not only a good thing to do; it makes good business sense. Organizations benefit from hiring men and women with solid work ethics, and veterans get a brand new work family and the stability of a solid paycheck. Simply posting your firm’s job listings to veteran-friendly sites like Hire Heroes USA is a great step. According to Hire Heroes USA, which helps members of the military and their spouses find employment, getting a job is the number one concern of returning vets. Hiring freezes may stall new hires, but there are still many ways to support veterans and help them weather the Covid-19 crisis, such as writing cards to veterans, making paracord bracelets, and supporting the initiatives of VA.ORG.

Pay it Forward In-House.

Created in 2007 by Blake Beattie, this global initiative brings together 80 nations with the goal of 10 million acts of kindness. Small, thoughtful acts can make a world of difference just by making someone’s day. Why not celebrate Pay it Forward Day internally as a way to boost morale and bring co-workers closer? Similar to a “Secret Santa,” staff members could anonymously Pay it Forward to a colleague with something simple. Why not send a contact-less delivery of their favorite snack, while supporting a local business, mail a handwritten thank-you note, or make a donation to a meaningful cause in their honor?

We hope these tips help your team make a difference this April. And don’t forget, in this time of urgent need around the world due to the Covid-19 crisis, you can look for even more direct ways your .ORG can pay it forward, like supporting groups feeding the homeless in your area, helping vulnerable children and families worldwide, or donating to the Coronavirus Response Fund of The CDC Foundation. If you need more ideas to get started, visit Create the Good to learn of volunteering opportunities near you. Happy Volunteer Month!