As an organization, we are stronger because of our connection to many non-profit organizations, officially and unofficially. One such example is Special Olympics. Bison provides financial support, time and volunteers for both the World’s Largest Convoy in the summer and the Special Olympics float in the Santa Claus Parade. In these circumstances, employees are able to give ‘hands and feet’ support to others outside our organization that need help to reach their goals.
Outside of work, Bison’s employees are active volunteers in a wide range of non-profit organizations, including churches, community clubs, sports teams, and many others.
Craig White, Manager of Logistics, has coached four different sports teams in three different sports and successfully organized a ringette tournament last year. “I started coaching 10 years ago to spend time with my kids,” Craig says, “but now it’s about social development, teamwork, skill level, confidence, and being a positive role model. At the end of the season, I look forward to seeing where the kids developed. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it. I think it’s cool when they bump into me at the mall and take time to chat, telling me how they are doing, and what they are up to. It means a lot to me, and gives me a sense that they value my contribution. I look forward to just being part of it all.”
So why would so many of us give so much of our precious personal time to these things?
For some of us, we get involved in sports because our kids need a coach. We may or may not have played the game, but we get some training, we are motivated for our kids to have a good time, and off we go!
Over time, we realize we are not only responsible for our kids’ learning and enjoyment, but for other parents’ kids too. Someday, these 8 year old soccer players will be adults. It’s awesome to realize if we set a good example of positive modeling, courage, team building, goal setting, and fun, we can contribute to their lives and help them become productive individuals in society.
Working and refining your skills as a coach can also help your personal development. Having a group of people look to you for leadership, guidance, goal setting, help and fun, are all challenges that stretch you to develop as a person.
If you stick with it long enough, you can help the kids you work with become coaches - closing the cycle and helping the next generation start on the same road. Looking at it this way, if you simply emerge two leaders out of the group, and they become coaches, you have not only sustained the role, but you have doubled the number of kids who can participate in the sport!
Last but not least, our communities need us. If all of us want to be members of healthy, vibrant, safe, communities, we have to do our part to make them so.
So, what skills, experience, knowledge, time or energy do you have that could be invested in others that need you? Please share with us below what you are doing to make a difference in your community.