Thursday, September 15, 2005

One of my roles at work is with our Community Works Committee, which organizes everything from blood drives and Halloween parties to our annual United Way corporate sponsorship program. It's that last one that we're actively working on right now - each fall, we begin promoting the drive, where employees commit to donate an amount of money to a non-profit in 2006. It can be any non-profit (the payment process is managed by the United Way, and they keep a small percentage for overhead), and they can choose to have the funds withdrawn from their payroll or can make a lump contribution. The company matches their annual contribution at 50%. It's a great program, and I'm really proud of it and how hard we work to promote it.

One of the ways that we keep people's interest in the drive is doing a daily prize drawing for everyone who makes a commitment to donate in the coming year. Those of us on the committee spend a lot of time contacting local merchants and asking for donations of gift certificates to give away as prizes (because as we all know, it's so much easier to be generous when there's a prize giveaway). So I've been spending a lot of lunches out in the community, trying to get donated gift certificates. I've had pretty good success - a national restaurant chain, a local toy store, the homemade ice cream parlor around the corner, a coffee shop nearby - and I still have four more places to visit. It always makes me happy to see how willing people are to help.

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