Volunteer to make a difference

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Want to make a difference in the lives of others? Give the gift of your time.

There are few things as satisfying as volunteering your time to make a difference in your community or support a cause you care about. The opportunities are endless – whether you have a few hours to spare or want to make a long-term commitment.

Don’t know how to begin? Here are a few ideas from Rust-Oleum Cares. Since its inception, the program and associate-driven Day of Caring events have helped dozens of organizations and impacted the lives of hundreds of people in need.

Food from the heart – Since food banks across the country experience a significant decrease in donations after the holiday season, organizing a food drive is one of the easiest ways to make an immediate difference in someone’s life.

Why not organize a food drive with a new twist? Company associates recently collected more than 2,150 pounds of “healthy” food for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, giving children and their families access to wholesome food options. Or, participate in a community garden project. 

In New Jersey, associates joined forces with members of the community to maintain a vegetable garden throughout the spring and summer months to support the food bank in Franklin Township, making fresh produce available to families in need.

Adopt a cause – If you have the time to make ongoing commitment, there are plenty of organizations that can use your help. Coach a Little League team. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or have an ongoing relationship with an organization or cause you want to help.

Rust-Oleum associates began a relationship with the Interfaith Hospitality Family Homeless Shelter last year. Since that time, they’ve collected holiday gifts and decorations, school supplies, “gently-used” Halloween costumes, warm winter coats and spring baskets filled with candy and small toys, bringing a little joy to families who could use a little TLC.

Take a vacation from your vacation – Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling to a faraway place, why not reserve one day or more to work on a project you care about? Working together on a community service project is a great way to bring families closer and teach children the importance of giving back to the community.

On a recent business trip, several members of the Rust-Oleum marketing team spent a day in their company’s birthplace, New Orleans, in a Day of Caring for Habitat for Humanity. Laying foundations for new homes in the fifth ward, a neighborhood hard hit by Hurricane Katrina six years ago, was a great team building experience and gave them a warm feeling that they have given back to a city that had given them so much.

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