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Residential Real Estate
Apr 26, 2018

Community Service PTO Benefits Your Company, as Well as Your Community

Sponsored Content provided by JC Lyle - Executive Director, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry


Duke Energy employees came to a WARM rebuild site instead of the office on a beautiful Friday last Spring. Together, they replaced flooring and completed other repairs for a widow in Hampstead.
 

You may have noticed that more and more businesses include community service paid time off. Basically, these companies allow their employees to volunteer on company time.
 
Some organizations, such as UNCW, give employees 24 hours of community service leave and allow each person to select the time and charity. Desk jockeys love the opportunity to leave the office and use power tools with WARM.
 
Others pick a day and invite employees to volunteer together. Keller Williams calls their annual event Red Day. WARM’s housing related mission is a great fit for these community minded realtors.
 
BB&T organizes an employee volunteer day and donates money to fund the project. They selected WARM in 2017.
 
Charlie Mattox, BB&T’s Market President, shares why the company puts so many resources behind the event: “Our annual Lighthouse project enables employees to get more involved in their community, work together in a different way, and enjoy the satisfaction of helping others. Employees loved working with WARM because they also learned new skills and saw firsthand how difficult life can be for some people in our community.”
 
These successful corporations get involved because giving back is the right thing to do… for their employees, as well as their community.
 

Develop Your Rising Stars

I have noticed that, in most cases, WARM’s point of contact is one of the company’s rising stars. These are the awesome employees who are obsessed with excellence. They want more opportunity to serve and lead than their job description provides.
 
Enhance their communication and project management skills by letting them plan a volunteer day or fundraiser. Any event that your staff might enjoy – ping pong tournament, wine and cheese tasting, costume party – can turn into a fundraiser to build a wheelchair ramp for a disabled veteran or repair heat for an elderly couple.
 
Our staff is ready to provide support and guidance. Let WARM help you prepare your rising stars for their next promotion!
 

Foster Teamwork

On a WARM rebuild, people are united in purpose to complete a home repair project. While WARM’s construction coordinators provide technical oversight, the volunteers must work together and rely on each other to make it happen. Employees who email more than they talk at the office may strategize how to move furniture around a small home and find the best way to install new vinyl floors. Two colleagues from different departments may cut lumber used by three others to build a set of steps.
 
Face-to-face interaction is critical in our increasingly virtual work environments. An Enterprise employee from Wilmington was excited when she got to volunteer with another employee from their New Bern office; they had emailed and talked on the phone for two years… but had never met until walking onto their WARM rebuild site!
 

Build Morale

Time and time again I hear about the morale-building effects of volunteering with WARM: getting out from behind the computer to do something physical, knowing you are part of a company that cares, and enjoying the emotional rewards of helping someone in need.
 
“The most powerful thing about volunteering with WARM is that our employees immediately see the impact on the lives of the people they help,” says Joe Finley, Co-Founder of CastleBranch, who is now President of WARM’s Board of Directors.
 
WARM has had such a powerful impact on the employees, many of them shared their experiences with us on video.
 
Does your company employ millennials? They put an especially high value on making a difference. Adding community service PTO as a benefit may improve retention.
 
WARM’s employees are eager to help you build your business while you build your community! Find out how to get started here: http://warmnc.org/warmmeansbusiness.aspx
 
Combining her professional experience in the Cape Fear region’s housing and real estate for-profit sector and volunteer experience with disaster recovery and housing-related nonprofits, JC Lyle (formerly Skane) was hired in 2009 to serve as the executive director of Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM). WARM is a grassroots nonprofit whose mission is to make homes safer by completing urgent repairs, accessibility upgrades and storm damage. Under her leadership, WARM has steadily grown from serving 44 households in 2008 to 155 households in 2016. Her public recognition includes Wilma Magazine's 2012 Woman to Watch in the Nonprofit Category, a 2014 Coastal Entrepreneur Award in the Nonprofit Category, given by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNC Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and invitations to speak at NC Center for Nonprofits Conference and NC Affordable Housing Conference. She will graduate in May with her Master of Business Administration at UNC-Wilmington.

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