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Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

MLK Day celebrates the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. And in 1994, the holiday was officially designated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Ever since, hundreds of thousands of Americans have embraced the annual holiday by devoting their time, money, and labor to nonprofits across the country. But why is service so intertwined with the holiday? And what did service mean to Martin Luther King Jr.?

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?

Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist who committed himself to racial justice. He fought for systemic change and was instrumental in improving labor rights, securing the right to vote for Black people, and protesting Jim Crow. His goal was to create a world in which all men and women would be treated as equals, and he wished to be remembered as someone who devoted his life to serving others. In that spirit, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a time to honor Martin Luther King Jr. by reflecting on community values, committing to anti-racist work, and making a difference in society.

How Can I Devote Myself to Systemic Change?

Systemic change starts with individual change. It’s important to actively reflect on ways in which our views and actions are harmful, even inadvertently. This is especially true when it comes to racism.

In order to become anti-racist, start by buying books about anti-racism from Black-owned bookstores. You can also donate to organizations committed to helping BIPOC communities and social initiatives. And if you see someone being racist, call it out, even if it’s uncomfortable.

Another way to honor King on this day of service is by volunteering. Our wonderful nonprofit partners could use your help, and we’d love to set up a project.

If you’d like to make a difference and serve your community, reach out to us today.

 

 

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What does your company need to start 2022 off right?

Ever since the pandemic began, the “new normal” has felt anything but. We’re still trying to figure out the best work setup for our employees’ health and needs. And we’re still trying to meet the ever-changing business demands brought about by new COVID variants. All of this can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple steps, you can easily start 2022 off right.

If you want to meet—and exceed—your 2022 goals, make sure to:

Check In with Your Employees

COVID has been a source of tension, both in and outside of work. We all want what’s best for our employees’ mental and emotional health. So, why not start by asking them?

Instead of assuming you know what your employees need, normalize monthly—or weekly—check-ins. This way, you’ll be able to gauge how they’re doing before stressors become too much. Additionally, you’ll have a better idea of what new strategies can best help your team.

On that note:

Coordinate a Flexible Remote Work Strategy

Even when the pandemic ends, you might need to shift to remote work again. Whether you’re having an in-office tech issue or car problems that prevent you from driving there, you don’t want to be caught off guard. Furthermore, the science shows that, for many employees, remote work simply works best. And it’s time to start acknowledging why embracing—and continuing—remote work can be an investment.

Similarly:

Invest in Volunteering

We’ve already talked about why volunteering is an investment, and that’s only going to continue being true in 2022. In fact, it might become even more of an investment going forward. Younger generations are especially interested in companies that give back. And society in general wants to work with companies who are doing good for the community. Plus, employees who give together tend to be closer to each other and more productive.

In short, if your company’s not already volunteering together, 2022 is the time to start.

For more information about how to start 2022 off right by participating in a remote volunteering project, contact us today.

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Gift A Generus Experience

It’s the season to be generous, and who knows more about generosity than us? Generus is offering a gift of our own this year, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

What is a Generus Gift?

This holiday season, for every event you purchase for a valued client or corporate team, we’ll be giving you a special coupon. We could only get Santa to guarantee this coupon on events purchased by January 15th, 2022, so make sure to reach out to us before then!

Giving a Generus event is easy: all you have to do is message us and we’ll send specific details regarding the type of event you want to purchase. We’ll then send you the information for your giftee, get in touch with them, and schedule their event. Finally, we’ll send you the information to get a discounted event for your own company.

Why Gift a Generus Event?

Gift giving isn’t just a love language: it’s also a scientifically proven way to strengthen bonds and boost morale. And since you’re giving someone the chance to give back themselves, those bonds and morale will only continue to strengthen. 

A Generus event is also an accessible way to show someone you care, since all giftees attend events remotely. And because we have a variety of volunteer options to choose from, you can rest assured that your gifted project will be both meaningful and enjoyable.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Reach out to us today and learn more about Generus gifts.

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GivingTuesday – Giving Back to 3 of Our Favorite Nonprofits

Generus loves generosity, so you’ve probably already guessed that we’re big fans of GivingTuesday. This international movement embraces the holiday spirit by encouraging participants to give back and do good. In celebration, we wanted to spotlight a few nonprofits that you can support today—and every day—through donations and volunteer work. Although we can’t list all our favorite nonprofits, we hope this list provides a starting point for ways to better our world, spread kindness, and get involved. 

Ascentria Care Alliance

Ascentria means “rising together,” and Ascentria Care Alliance is devoted to helping vulnerable communities grow and thrive. One of their current goals is to help resettle hundreds of Afghan refugees in New England. In order to do so, they’ll require donations for housing, legal aid, and other essential resources. If you’d like to help Ascentria in their mission to help others, you can donate or share their social posts

Partners in Health

Partners in Health provides healthcare to communities where treatment is inaccessible or unaffordable. They believe that healthcare is a human right, and they treat every patient like a family member. The work they do saves lives, and through your donation, they’ll be able to partner with even more organizations and help even more people

Message of Hope

Hospitals can be scary, especially for chronically ill children. But with Message of Hope’s Happy Hope Bags, these children will have brighter and more hopeful experiences. Message of Hope provides fun gifts and activities to make hospital stays less overwhelming. Their bags include only hospital-approved games and toys, such as coloring books and stickers. By donating to Message of Hope, you’ll become a Hope hero and bring joy to a child in need.

Whatever help you can offer this GivingTuesday makes a huge difference to these nonprofits. And of course, help doesn’t stop with monetary donations. Through Generus’s virtual volunteer events, you’ll be able to give back to your community while improving company morale, productivity, and teamwork. If you want to make an even bigger impact, consider signing up for one of our virtual volunteer projects today.

 

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3 Ways Volunteering Expresses Gratitude

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and there’s a lot to be thankful for this year. We’re slowly putting the pandemic behind us, returning to the office, and generally regaining a sense of normal. Your company has been through so much these last two years, and so, too, have your employees. For that reason, it’s important to let them know just how much you appreciate them, and what better way than by volunteering together?

Here are three ways virtual volunteering will show your employees you’re thankful for them.

Acknowledge Employee Talents 

Just like with office work, virtual volunteering requires specific talents. Some employees are better at hands-on tasks while others are more skilled at organization or management. By choosing a project that honors these diverse interests and talents, you’re acknowledging your employees’ work and abilities as individuals. Essentially, you’re showing that each and every one of your employees is important to your business—it wouldn’t be a team without them.

Center Employee Interests

Employees want to work on projects that are important to them, and virtual volunteering gives them access to so many options. By working on a project that an employee is personally invested in, you’re showing that you respect and acknowledge their interests. In turn, your employee will know you see them as an individual, and simultaneously, they’ll feel more connected to your team. In other words, by being part of something that matters to them (their cause), you’re thanking them for being a part of what matters to you (your company).

Deepen Connections

Every employee wants to feel connected to their team, and virtual volunteering allows them to build deeper bonds. These bonds are helpful around the office on collaborative tasks—they’re also useful for networking. Plus, you’ll get to know your employees better and develop an even greater appreciation for their work. Essentially, by volunteering together, you’re helping them with their future careers. They’ll have a better idea of your company, and you’ll have a better idea of how they can grow within it.

Thanksgiving is a time for giving back, but it’s not the only time. If you want to be generous all year long, reach out to Generus and schedule your virtual volunteer project today.

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Community Mental Health: 3 Ways to Make a Difference

The Importance of Community Mental Health

Ever since the pandemic began, mental health has plummeted. People are stressed, worried, and unsure what to do next. And since stress tends to accumulate and spread, community mental health is in a state of crisis. But as a business leader, you can take several steps to make a difference, both for your office and the wider community.

Here are 3 ways to help support your community’s mental health:

Check in on Your Employees

You can’t make a difference outside of your company without first supporting your team. Chances are that the switch to remote work has left some of your employees overwhelmed. Additionally, the personal stressors of living through COVID-19 have caused most of us to self-isolate and retreat inward.

Make sure to reach out to your employees and check in on how they’re doing. Something as simple as a virtual happy hour or personal phone call can go a long way toward improving mental health.

Focus on Your Own Needs

Just like your employees, your own mental health is important for maintaining a positive, productive environment. This isn’t the time to put on a bold front; being authentic and vulnerable shows that we’re human, and that touch of humanness is what we need right now. By acknowledging stressors, as opposed to denying them, you’ll create a more honest and connected environment.

Practice Giving Back

Research shows that volunteering is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Your employees will feel good giving back, and the people they help will benefit, too. Also, your team will feel better connected and supported, which will help them battle isolation. In short, giving back doesn’t just diminish bad feelings, but also increases good ones.

Community Mental Health: 3 Ways to Make a Difference- Check in on your employees. Focus on your own needs so that you as a leader can be at your best. Practice giving back.

Final Thoughts on How to Support Community Mental Health

Stress and worry can be contagious, but so too can optimism and generosity. By acknowledging our current mental health issues, we can better tackle them going forward and improve our community as a whole.

If you want to make a difference in your community, Generus is here to help. We have a variety of projects focused on mental well-being, and we can’t wait to work on one with your team!

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The Value of Volunteering: Why Giving Back is an Investment

Volunteering is a great way to be selfless, and it’s also a boon for your team. Through volunteering, you’ll see long-term benefits for retention and productivity. And when you go virtual, you’ll save on travel and hotel costs. In fact, the value of virtual volunteering can’t be overstated. It’s an investment in your company that will set the stage for future growth and connection.

Here are 3 reasons remote volunteering is more than worth the price.

The Value of Volunteering

Cut Travel Costs

In order to volunteer in person, you sometimes need to travel. But traveling expenses can quickly add up when your employees live far away. Plus, some opportunities are costly solely because they take place over several days. Fortunately, remote volunteering allows all your employees to contribute from home more easily and at a reduced price. 

Decrease Turnover

One of the most expensive costs for a company is related to turnover, which can add up to millions of dollars a year. Fortunately, remote volunteering has been shown to decrease turnover by bringing employees together and giving them a purpose. When a team feels better connected, they’re more likely to stay together and grow with their company. In turn, that company will spend less on hiring new trainees—and money saved is money earned.

Improve Productivity

Happier employees are more productive employees. And one of the easiest ways to improve employee engagement is by volunteering. Volunteers feel better supported and more connected. And when their volunteering takes place remotely, they can reach a larger number of charities and nonprofits. Plus, by utilizing their talents and time toward causes that matter, employees will have more energy and enthusiasm to put back into other work projects.

Final Thoughts on the Value of Volunteering

Doing good makes a team feel good; generosity is its own reward. But there’s another benefit to volunteering, which comes in the form of monetary value. Supporting a charity allows you to meet corporate social responsibility goals while keeping employees motivated and happy. 

If you want support in planning your own virtual volunteer event, reach out to Generus today!

 

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Work and the Loneliness Epidemic: Battle Isolation through Volunteering

Lonely employees are unproductive employees. And sadly, employees are lonelier today than ever before. Work and the loneliness epidemic are linked, and the shift to remote work has made it even harder to build and sustain bonds. But that doesn’t mean your team can’t come together and connect. In fact, through remote volunteering, team bonds can grow even more powerful.  

Here are 3 ways remote volunteering can combat the effects of loneliness.

Work and the Loneliness Epidemic

Improve Morale

Poor morale is an obvious side-effect of loneliness. Humans are social creatures, and we crave connection and purpose. But when we lack a positive team dynamic, we can feel unsupported and alone. On the other hand, when employees work toward something that matters to them, they feel heard and appreciated. In turn, morale improves and your team becomes closer and more engaged. 

Decrease Turnover

When an employee feels disconnected from work, they’re less likely to remain with their company. And it’s easy to feel disconnected when you never see or meaningfully interact with your team. Fortunately, remote volunteering offers a solution. By volunteering together, your employees will bond over shared goals and purpose. In turn, they’ll feel more like a team, which will make them less likely to seek a team elsewhere. 

Build Company Culture

If your employees don’t know each other, it’s impossible to build company culture. But when employees volunteer together, they’re actively building up a culture of accountability and support. In turn, your company will gain respect for its values, which will make recruiting top tier talent easier.

Employees want to work somewhere that cares. And when caring is part of your company framework, you become that much more appealing to new hires.

The Solution for Work and the Loneliness Epidemic

Connection combats loneliness, and it’s easy to connect over remote volunteering. If you want to help your company come together as a team, reach out to Generus today.

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Fighting Isolation With Video Visits

This post was written by Generus Founder and CEO Jamie Larson and was featured on the NCOA blog

 

Fighting Isolation With Video Visits

 

Many older adults, especially those in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, are unable to have visitors because of the pandemic. My company, Generus, invites you to join us in creating uplifting and inspiring virtual stories for anyone not receiving visitors right now. We call them “Video Visits” and they are now a YouTube library of 1-3 minute personal messages from community members sharing a story, a song, or a how-to. They are incredibly heartwarming no matter what age you are but we have many requests and need more stories from older adults. We hope you will consider helping us by telling your story on video and viewing the videos community members have made for you.

 

Why Video Visits?

 

When people ask me why I started this initiative, I tell them about my grandmother who cared for me in my early years. I was so excited when she would get home from work and we would drive around the local “Tasty Freeze” for Coke and french fries every afternoon. She walked to work every morning before the sun came up so she could leave early in the afternoon to take care of me.

 

With the separation necessary during COVID-19, it seems like anything we can do to help each other feel connected and loved is worth it. It might be a simple thing recording a little message, but in individual homes, in senior care facilities, and nursing homes we are hearing more and more how much people appreciate these thoughtful endeavors. In memory care units in particular, medical staff tell us Video Visits are helpful when residents see themselves on film, see family members on film, or watch any video that triggers a memory for them.

 

Please join us and share a memory that might be helpful and brighten someone’s day or watch these videos by typing into your web browser: bit.ly/MyVideoVisit. The playlists offer lots of choices. Don’t miss the videos from high school and college students around the world that helped make this initiative possible.

 

Make your own Video Visit

 

Here’s how to get involved if you are interested in volunteering to create a Video Visit of your own:

  1. Record a video on your phone (horizontal position)

  2. Then from your phone, open a web browser and go to www.Generus.net and click “VideoVisit”

  3. There is a link that says To Share: “CLICK HERE”

  4. Then you just select your video and that’s it.

 

If you do not have a phone with video available, you can also email us at contact@generus.net and we can schedule a call over Zoom to record your video.

We hope to hear from you soon!

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Volunteer Now: Make-A-Video for Seniors and Shut-ins

Generus is helping senior care centers and non-profits like Meals on Wheels by gathering pre-recorded video ‘visits’ during this unprecedented time. Go HERE to learn more and share your video.
 

So many seniors are isolated and would enjoy hearing and seeing you share something you enjoy. Whether it is a song, some poetry, art you’ve created or maybe you can solve a Rubik’s cube in record-breaking speed. Show us your garden. Or your collection. Make it something you love. And tell us why. Amateur or professional – all are welcome.

 

Please help us by making a video and/or sharing on social media. Find our Generus Video ‘Visits’ for Seniors YouTube channel HERE. In addition, we will be promoting participating artists (including a Featured Artist program).

 

For each 3-5-minute video:

  • Introduce yourself and share your story

  • Share something you enjoy (music, art, poetry, Rubik’s cube, gardening, etc.)

 

You will retain all your rights to your artistic property.

 

Interested in participating? Go HERE to learn more and tell us about yourself. At the end of the form, you’ll get a link to upload your video.