“Ready. Set. Give.” is a seven-part series that helps companies create a culture of giving. “I think a lot of people don’t know where to volunteer or how to get involved,” says Mitch Henderson, Executive Director of Ozarks Literacy Council. Henderson says if you want your business to give back to the community, giving employees a list of opportunities to volunteer is a good start. Volunteers can tutor children, read to kids in the classroom or volunteer at a major event.
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- - Many businesses struggle to cultivate a culture that gives back to the community. Sometimes you just have to get a little creative.
Hi, I'm Jami Dressler with Arvest Bank, and I'm here with Mitch Henderson from Ozarks Literacy Council. And we're here to share a few ways that you too can give back. Mitch, how can a company get started?
- I think the first one is for the company to provide a list of opportunities. I think a lot of people don't know where to volunteer or how to get involved, so if the company can do a little bit of legwork prior by providing a list of various organizations within their immediate area, or aligns to what they're passionate about, that will help out a great deal.
- So more specifically, can you tell me a little bit about Ozarks Literacy Council, and how others could get involved if they find that to be their passion?
- Yes, the goal of Ozarks Literacy Council, is to raise awareness and promote literacy throughout southwest Missouri. So we have a couple of different programs, one is a tutoring program where we pair a student with an adult and they do one-on-one tutoring at a public location within Springfield.
- That sounds incredibly rewarding. What if your company allows you time during the work day to volunteer?
- Yes, that does provide a great opportunity. If you only have 30 to 45 minutes throughout the day, you can go to one of our preschool classrooms and read to them and give them a copy of the book, and it's really a rewarding experience.
- Oh wow, what about a one time volunteering opportunity.
- Well we're always looking for volunteers at our major events. One is our pizza bowl, we also have a trivia night, and that allows either an individual kind of to do a one time shot volunteer, or a company could get a few volunteers together and be able to volunteer that way.
- Wow, that sounds fun. Thank you Mitch. If you would like to get involved with Ozark Literacy Council, please visit their webpage at ozarksliteracy.org.
The congregation at Crossway Baptist Church is building a children’s wing at the west end of the church, and beginning in 2024, it will be home to a Christian academy.