On October 1, the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance will officially kick off its Third Annual Alliance Gives Back Volunteer Days, a three-day event aimed to connect members of the business community with our region’s nonprofits to provide volunteer hours. Last year’s initiative set a high mark by connecting nearly 200 Alliance member volunteers with 30 nonprofit organizations.
This year, as with many things, the program will look a little bit different than it has in the past.
“The exposure and connectivity of Alliance Gives Back was, like many other aspects of business, hindered due to COVID-19,” said Britney Guertin, LWRBA board member and chair of the Community Engagement Committee. “Thankfully, the LWRBA Community Engagement Committee is an eager and creative bunch. Knowing the importance of Alliance Gives Back, the committee worked collectively to brainstorm alternatives to Alliance Gives Back in-person events. The option for virtual events, such as assisting with making volunteer appreciation gifts, was idealized, as was the option to host a supply drive for items desperately needed.”
The LWRBA’s goal was to provide organizations and Alliance members with opportunities to give back in a way that is right for them, no matter their personal comfort level. And their members responded. In total, 26 nonprofits signed up to participate, either through in-person projects, virtual activities, or collection drives for much-needed supplies. On the volunteer side, 130 individuals have committed to participating.
Some businesses have even gone above and beyond, opting to support their nonprofit of choice as a team. Alliance Gives Back Corporate Sponsor Fawley Bryant Architecture did just that, matching their employees’ contributions to Tidewell Hospice, one of the organizations offering a collection drive.
“We continually strive to support our community by investing proceeds and time back into our clients’ mission, the business community, and area nonprofits,” said Amanda Parrish, chief administrative officer of Fawley Bryant Architecture. “To serve is the greatest form of leadership. While getting involved offers knowledge, it also creates bonds of friendship and trust. Those are the people we hope to work for: individuals and companies that know Fawley Bryant Architecture not only for our work but also for our work ethic, passion, and integrity.”
While sign-ups for in-person projects are now closed, there are still opportunities to participate with one of the 10 collection drives on offer. Those interested in making donations can visit www.LWRBA.org/AllianceGivesBack for information on how to get involved.
“By listening to our NFPs’ needs and being in tune with the local community, the LWRBA was able to adjust Alliance Gives Back in a way that serves all, no matter their comfort level,” added Guertin. “In a time of heavy losses, we have found this a very special and timely win!”