Organizations can help employees develop stronger teamwork skills by volunteering as a group. Community service is a particularly effective way for teams to build skills because they don’t rely on internal hierarchies and relationships and instead encourage new relationships. Team volunteering comes with many benefits—here are a few important ones:
See your team members in new ways.
You know what it’s like to work with your team in the office—but when you’re out of your element, who steps up to organize the work in a soup kitchen? Who can solve problems when rebuilding bicycles or clearing invasive plants? Who’s good at reaching out to children or inspiring others? Team volunteering allows members of your group to work together in new ways and discover leadership skills and problem-solving abilities in each other that may have gone unnoticed before.
Connect to your community.
Cambridge is a unique city—a city of incredible caring and opportunity. As a city we care about equity, opportunity and social justice. We value our diversity, our green spaces, our art, history and culture. But opportunity and justice are not equally distributed—even here. Our city may not always be as welcoming as it could be. When your company volunteers to make Cambridge a better place and connects to those who don’t have access to many of the opportunities that others have, your people are gaining a deeper understanding of urban challenges. That understanding could have powerful effects on your work and how your organization is perceived.
Re-boot your team’s outlook.
A day or an afternoon serving others gets your team out of the office, out of the routine and out creating a memorable experience. If your team is slogging through a tough challenge at work, the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from a day or an afternoon spent volunteering can easily carry over into work-related projects, create new momentum and build your team’s confidence and enthusiasm.Giving back gives your people the empowering and renewing opportunity to make a difference and work towards something meaningful.
The benefits of team volunteering are practically endless. Not only are you helping others, but you’re helping yourself improve as a person.
Open up the conversation with your boss and work and see what you can do this year to give back in Cambridge..
Volunteering as a group at the Cambridge MLK Day of Service is one way to get started. More than 40 city organizations and business from The Broad Institute to Starbucks organize volunteer teams. Earth Day events are also a great opportunity for corporate teams. If you’re interested, please let us know and we can help you with these opportunities.
In addition to these options, there are many great Cambridge organizations can accommodate large groups of volunteers for one-day service events. These include:
Charles River Conservancy
Charles River Watershed Association
Cambridge Women’s Center
Boston Area Gleaners
Cambridge Community Center
Food for Free’s Field of Dreams(in Lincoln),
East End House
Fresh Pond Reservation
Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House
On the Rise
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services
Food Pantries and Meal Program
If your organization is thinking about a think about a more sustained commitment, here are a few ideas…
Create a Community Cooks team and make a meal together once a month for neighbors in need
Feld a group of volunteers to be NetPals with middle school kids in Cambridge Public Schools through Cambridge School Volunteers
Form a team to help teens and adults build computer skills at a local community center
NEED MORE IDEAS?
Email the Cambridge Volunteer Clearninghouse. They will help you identify an opportunity that reflects your team’s interests and goals.