Community Engagement is core to our purpose of keeping Lives in Motion – helping to move people towards their goals and dreams – with our two key Signature Programs as our areas of focus: Nourishing Children & Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces. These two Programs are where we believe we can make our biggest impact. With experience and expertise across food and retail, we understand that children thrive when their families thrive, and vibrant, welcoming outdoor spaces help bring people together.
And our commitment to community engagement continues through our comprehensive benefits for employees, with all full- and part-time employees receiving paid time off to volunteer at non-profits that are meaningful to them. We want to make sure our employees have the resources and support they need to give back to the communities where we live and operate across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Paid Time Off To Volunteer Policy
Full-time employees at the Wills Group and at all of our retail locations – including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash, and SMO Motor Fuels – can spend up to 16 hours per year volunteering at a nonprofit of their choice.
Staff can choose to take two full days, or four half days, or any combination therein, and their time off for community service is treated like a regular paid workday.
This community service benefit is offered in addition to our company sponsored Community Engagement Program days in which groups of staff perform a specific community service activity, such as putting together food backpacks to feed children or revitalizing a neglected park.
Programs like these allow the Wills Group an outlet to be good stewards in our communities.
While these initiatives are currently focused on Signature Programs of Nourishing Children & Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces, our volunteer paid time off benefit opens up more opportunities for the Wills Group and employees to give back.
Employees can volunteer at any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Through their efforts, the Wills Group can maximize our charitable presence and raise awareness of a multitude of nonprofit causes.
Everything from homeless shelters, performing arts centers, animal shelters, youth enrichment programs, food banks, senior centers, libraries, community farms, and more – our staff are welcome to choose causes that are near and dear to their hearts.
Benefits of Volunteering
Numerous studies have shown how community service benefits us mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. Here’s how:
1. Volunteering reduces anxiety and loneliness
Volunteering creates positive energy that feels similar to the after-effects of a good workout. Your body releases endorphins which trap and block stress hormones.
Volunteering is also a great way to shift your focus away from the parts of your routine that cause anxiety. Serving others in need helps to give you a fresh perspective on the stressors in your life.
Community service in its nature is social. When you donate your time with others towards a common goal, you forge new friendships and have a few laughs, further reducing feelings of isolation and anxiety.
2. Volunteering improves heart health
Not all volunteer activities are physically demanding, but most get you up and moving to some degree. Sorting donated goods at a food bank, playing with shelter pets, or setting up an auction table at a fundraising event will get you lifting and walking more than you would have sitting behind a desk.
Harvard Health Publishing reports that volunteering on a regular basis can reduce blood pressure, increase physical activity, and overall contributes to better heart health.
3. Volunteering boosts happiness and self esteem
Community service gives us a sense of purpose and builds empathy towards those in need. Research shows that volunteering releases endorphins and makes us feel good about the impact we’ve had.
Volunteering gives us a powerful boost to our overall happiness and feeling of self worth.
4. Volunteering builds bonds with those around you
Community service is also socially rewarding. It’s a great way to network within the community and connect with others who share your interests in the same cause.
Make a Difference While Working at the Wills Group
Volunteering is selfless and yet unexpectedly self-fulfilling. It’s clear that community service is beneficial to our mind, body, and spirit. But that’s not the only reason why we do it.
We volunteer because we believe we can make a real difference in the lives of others. We believe that our skills could be valuable to a charitable cause that is near and dear to our hearts.
The Wills Group and our family of companies comprise over 300 locations across Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Hundreds more worthy causes are seeking volunteer help right now – to clean up trash by a riverbed, to feed the homeless, or manage a table at their next fundraising event.
We are proud of our volunteer paid time off benefit and the impact that our employees can have on mission-based causes throughout the Mid-Atlantic states.
If each of our 400 employees donates at least 16 hours of their time to a nonprofit each year, that’s 6,400 human resource hours devoted to making a difference. That’s 200 days a year serving the communities in which we live and work.
This is the very essence of our promise to keep Lives in Motion.
Join Us As We Set Out to Make a Difference
See our open positions at our La Plata, Maryland headquarters or at any of our retail locations in Maryland, Delaware, or Virginia and join us as we work together to make a difference in our local communities.