What Does Volunteering Mean to You?

By Simone Carvalho, Jersey Cares’ newest Service Events Manager

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Even after years of working with volunteers, I still find myself astounded by their benevolence. From individuals to families, Scout Troops to Fortune 500 companies- volunteers can take many forms but the spirit of generosity is identical.

What is this goodwill I speak of? It is the 17,341 Jersey Cares volunteers who donated 63,730 hours of their time to 410 agencies across New Jersey in just 2014.

These numbers leave me astonished because:

  •  17,341 is more than the entire population living in Hopewell Township, New Jersey.
  • You would have to volunteer 24 hours a day for 27 years to accumulate 63,730 service hours.
  • According to the Independent Sector, a volunteer hour in New Jersey is valued at $25.33. In 2014, our volunteers’ service was worth $1,614,280.90!

These numbers only just begin to quantify the enormous value of service because we can’t measure the smiles, bonds formed, or how a community has strengthened. But we can ensure the continued success and expansion of volunteer projects across the state. Jersey Cares strives to increase the level of meaningful volunteer engagement by creating and managing efficient, impactful projects that address critical community-identified needs.

We are celebrating National Volunteer Week 2015 by highlighting opportunities to #GiveBack and #BeTheChange with @JerseyCares on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram throughout #NVW2015.

Tag us @JerseyCares and tell us what VOLUNTEERING means to you!

– Simone Carvalho

Corporate Spotlight: Verizon


Verizon employees help create super hero capes in their Basking Ridge, NJ office in July 2014.

Verizon’s robust Corporate Service Responsibility programs and volunteer initiatives engage all of their employees in meaningful service. The company decided to take a unique approach to accommodate their call center employees, who are critical to Verizon’s operations and have limited flexibility to leave their desks for extended periods of time. Since March, Verizon has delivered a successful solution to engage these employees: bringing volunteer projects that can be completed in 15 minutes or less right into break rooms.

From decorating super hero capes for children’s hospitals to creating ready to plant tree sapling kits donated to public schools, these employees are able to create significant change in a short period of time, right in the comfort of their office. With a project every month, reflecting one of Verizon’s impact areas, over 1,500 volunteers have participated in these events, creating items for well-deserving students, veterans, teachers, and more. “Our employees are thrilled to participate every month and they have learned even more about Verizon’s work in the community,” said Samantha Yakal-Kremski, manager of employee engagement for Verizon. “Our employees contribute to this good work and our business, the community, and our employees all mutually benefit from these engagement opportunities.”