Beyond Business: Volunteering Our Way to Stronger Communities

Woman and a man smiling packing a cardboard box.

April 17, 2024

At Interstates, our team members are passionate not only about the work they do but also about the significant contributions they make to their communities. As part of our volunteer program, Engage, many have dedicated their time and resources to uplift local organizations, ranging from food banks to children's programs. One such story is that of Jim, a senior estimator who became passionate about a program through Volunteers of America (VOA) called Greater Goods.

Discovering a Path to Impact

It all started in a breakroom conversation that led Jim to Volunteers of America, Dakotas, and their Greater Goods program in Sioux Falls, SD. While Jim and others in the office were deciding on an organization to volunteer with, they landed on Greater Goods. "For me, the point that hit home was how I could impact not just one organization but hundreds of them through Greater Goods," shared Jim. This program partners with local nonprofits to distribute new and gently used items, helping over 200 organizations cut supply costs and better serve their communities.

The excitement built, and Jim and seven other Interstates’ team members helped unload, unpack, and sort goods for the organization. They also assembled furniture and household items that came in. It was a great team-building experience and rewarding for all involved.

The Broad Impact of Volunteering

While this volunteer opportunity affected just one organization, it had a community-wide impact. Volunteering not only strengthens community bonds but also represents a substantial economic value. In 2021, Americans contributed over 4.1 billion* hours of service, valued at approximately $122.9 billion​*. Those 4.1 billion hours of service spread across the over 1.8 million** active nonprofits in the US. This demonstrates the impact volunteers have on enhancing the capabilities and reach of nonprofit organizations across the nation​. Additionally, volunteers are twice as likely to support organizations financially, underscoring a dual commitment to fostering community growth​​***.

Teamwork and Community Building

What began as a one-time event turned into regular volunteering for Jim, who now spends time each month assembling furniture and more for Greater Goods. "Along the way, multiple people asked to join me, so it turned out to be a great way to strengthen [work] relationships," Jim noted. His initiative has encouraged more Interstates team members to join in, and donate workbenches, power tools, and monetary gift as a collective contribution to VOA.

A Broader Perspective on Giving Back

Volunteering can impact not only the organizations that receive the volunteers but also the individuals. This is exactly what Jim experienced helping with Greater Goods. "For me, it has really opened my eyes to the needs in our community. We all take for granted having our food, housing, furniture, etc. Overall, it has been gratifying knowing that I/we can make a difference in people's lives by helping provide basic needs," he reflects. The impact of Jim and Interstates’ efforts is not lost on the community either. Kari Johnson, Foundation Director of VOA Dakotas, expresses her gratitude: " We are SO GRATEFUL to have Interstates as a partner and supporter. And thank you to all of you…We honestly could not do what we do out there without volunteers."

Serve During National Volunteer Week

As we approach National Volunteer Week, we are proud to celebrate the contributions of our team members. Since our launch of Engage, Interstates has completed over 70 projects, and we’re still counting! We encourage everyone to consider how they can make a difference, reminding us all of the power of volunteerism to transform lives—both within the community and our own.