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Volunteering is a wonderful way to network and to meet others in the community

PHOTO COURTESY OF PRINEVILLE-CROOK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - Crook County Fire and Rescue employees and volunteers serve up chili at the Stampede Street Party during the Crooked River Roundup.

Prineville, although home to some large corporate names like Les Schwab, Facebook and Apple, is a town still full of small businesses. At the Chamber, we often are asked how to promote ways to strengthen the culture, empower employees, find new customers and build a good reputation in our community.

Many large and small companies will invest time and money in advertising and marketing, send their staff to training and attend business classes. But more often than not for the small businesses, the funds aren't available to invest in these tools.

There is one simple and rather inexpensive option available that can promote morale in the workplace so that employees feel good, culture is strengthened, customers are gained and the local community benefits. Few opportunities provide as much value to a small business and its employees as volunteering.

Along with helping others, volunteering is a great way to help yourself and your business. Let's be honest, it feels good to do good. Volunteering and helping out others can boost morale, and bring a boost to business culture. Increased happiness in the workplace can also result in increased production and better customer service.

Volunteering is also a wonderful way to network and meet others in the community. It may be as simple as creating a new friendship, but who knows, it may also result in the gain of a customer, a business deal or a future employee. Although the goal of volunteering is to help others, it can end up helping your own business in return.

While we often see organizations like the Kiwanis club and Rotary club volunteering their time, it doesn't take much for a business to offer their employees the opportunity to trade work hours for volunteer hours. A business putting a focus on serving local organizations and showing others their commitment to doing good is the best way for them to make a difference and perhaps even gain some positive publicity.

When we encourage employees to engage in volunteerism and charitable giving in the form of their time and energy, it's something that benefits the entire community, the company that employs them as well as their own self-esteem. Doing this kind of work is its own reward, but there are positives that go beyond helping others, as it tends to benefit everyone down the line.

For any business or individual wanting to get more involved in volunteer opportunities in our area, please contact the Prineville-Crook County Chamber at 541-447-6304. We are also welcoming those organizations seeking volunteers to let us know their needs.


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