Lending a Hand: All Star Launches Employee Volunteer Program

Guest blog author Jen Jope is a content marketing manager for All Star.

Volunteer serves a meal to a homeless person in a soup kitchen.

Apple has one. Microsoft too.

And now All Star has something in common with these heavy hitters: An employee volunteer program.

For the first time in the company’s history, All Star employees are entitled to 16 hours of annual “VTO,” or volunteer time off.

One month after going live, the program is gaining traction with employees. Several All Stars have already demonstrated their leadership skills by stepping up to serve as volunteer coordinators. Their job? Decide on a volunteer opportunity and organization, rally team members and get out there in the community.

Employee volunteer programs are nothing new, but for All Star, it’s an exciting development for a company that’s called Seattle home for more than a decade. From the Ballard Food Bank to Mary’s Place, there’s no shortage of local organizations that need a helping hand.

And we can’t wait to begin.

Getting the Program Started

President and CEO Doug Brown recognized a unique opportunity to give back to the city that has been so good to All Star, while also enriching the lives of employees.

“Service to our community inspires our team members to fulfill their potential in every aspect of their lives,” says Doug.

Earlier this year, the Philanthropy Program Committee, which includes Doug, Assistant Controller Michelle Ferris and me, surveyed our fellow colleagues to learn about their personal volunteer experience.

We received some inspiring results and found out the All Star office is chock full of people willing to give back to their community.

Of the employees surveyed, almost 40 percent currently clock in more than 20 hours of volunteer time each year. Color us impressed.

Northwest Harvest, YWCA and Seattle-area schools top the list of organizations our employees work with on their own time.

Who will the All Stars volunteer with this coming year? Habitat for Humanity is in one group’s sights, while others are hoping to give their time to The Nature Conservancy, the Jubilee Women’s Center and the Boys and Girls Club, to name a few.

How It Works

During the development of the VTO plan, we felt strongly that employees should feel empowered, and not restricted, in their volunteer efforts.

The main guidelines simply require a bit of team building—8 of the 16 hours must be completed in a group setting and volunteers can work with registered 501(c)(3)s in the following areas:

  • Education
  • Health and Human Services
  • Civics
  • Arts and Culture
  • Environment
  • Animal & Wildlife Services

Doug, Michelle and I had a great time developing the program, but the fun is really about to start. We can’t wait to see the impact our amazing colleagues will have on the community.

If you’re curious too, check back for updates on team volunteering efforts.

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