March 2017

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Mission to New Mexico

At Volunteer Square, we are so proud of the work that our high school interns do for our organization and in their communities. We are committed to working with each intern to provide the training and tools required to succeed as part of the program. Interns are invited to submit guest blog posts detailing their volunteer experiences. We look forward to featuring the intern blogs throughout the spring and I am thrilled to share Cristina Ludwig’s story with you today. To learn more about our internship program and our current Volunteer Square interns, visit the intern section of our site. 

On a Mission for School Break - By Cristina Ludwig, Milford CT

This past February break, I traveled with a group of students and staff from my high school, Lauralton Hall (Milford, CT), on a mission trip to Tohatchi, New Mexico. The trip to Tohatchi, which is part of the Navajo Nation, is only one of many ways for students to participate in Lauralton’s Campus Ministry program.  In addition to the chance to travel to the Southwest, the trip was an opportunity to learn about a different culture while serving others.

In Tohatchi, we worked with the St. Mary Mission, a group of  Franciscan sisters, brothers and priests who are dedicated to helping the diné. (Diné is the Navajo term for “the people”).  Our duties included cleaning, painting, organizing and delivering food, and even helping at Bingo night.  As we worked, we made connections with the people and their families served by the mission.

Employee Volunteer Programs

Over the last several years it’s become very popular for companies to promote volunteer work as part of their social responsibility initiatives. Volunteer work gives employees an opportunity to break away from their daily tasks and put their skills to use in other ways. Research has shown that companies that encourage volunteer work outside of the workplace have seen a shift in employee engagement. Engaged employees are happier, healthier and perform at a higher level. This leads to a lower turnover rate for the company.

Starting an Employee Volunteer Program will boost morale, motivation and team building in your company. It's a great way to show corporate support for the activities that employees are participating in and could help to leverage contributions to the nonprofits your company partners with.

According to The Deloitte 2011 Volunteer IMPACT Survey Employee Volunteer Programs will:

Stamford Mentoring Collaborative

Volunteer Square is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with the Stamford Mentoring Collaborative to help the participating organizations recruit mentors and promote training and networking events. We have a new page on our website dedicated to the collaborative and it will feature information about how to get involved as a mentor, invitations to training and networking events and news from the collaborative.

March Volunteer of the Month

Clare Harding has a lot of experience as a Guidance Counselor, four decades to be exact, at Greenwich High School. Clare retired in 2011 and she was looking for something meaningful to do in her spare time. That's when she drove by Stamford Academy one morning and decided to reach out to Julia Wade, Director of Volunteers at Domus to find out more. Clare and Julia met and two weeks later Clare started as a volunteer guidance counselor at Stamford Academy and the rest is history.

When I spoke with Julia Wade about honoring a volunteer from Domus, she jumped at the chance to recognize Clare. Julia shared that, "Clare’s big heart is matched only by her even bigger talent. She has become an indispensable member of the Stamford Academy team and an integral part of the Domus family." Two minutes into my conversation with Clare, and I knew exactly what Julia meant. Her dedication to the students, her colleagues and the work she does, is inspiring.

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