Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is Your Employee Volunteer Program Ready For the Next Disaster?

Today at 10:21 A.M., businesses, schools, and households will experience a simulated earthquake drill, the Great California Shakeout. The goal of this statewide event is to  increase awareness and preparedness for the next real big quake in California. While this drill is meant to be a wake up call to the realities of where we are living, it can also be a reminder that a disaster like this in places that are impoverished will require immediate humanitarian relief  as well as long term help in rebuilding.

Last January, VolunterMatch, a great organization that helps businesses and non-profits develop their volunteer programs, forwarded their Jan.newsletter, with their featured article: "After Haiti What Your Company Can Do" . This article had specific tips and suggestions aimed at helping victims of the Haiti disaster through  their employee volunteer programs, which can be used as a template for any future disasters where a company's philanthropy program would like to help.

Their recommendations include ideas for how to raise funds, how to determine the best agencies to donate to, and how to use the many VoluteerMatch tools such as their Emergency Preparedness Map, their special Event Manager Program  for organizing company volunteers for food and clothing drives, and their Disaster Messaging Tool.

While your company is thinking of building a toolkit for local emergencies preparedness, why not think about the need to be prepared to help others less fortunate when disaster hits them?

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