Each year, the VYP Board decides on goals and themes for the program that help identify the focus for content, speakers, and community partners. This month hear from Stella O’Rourke and Justin O’Connell as they share their thoughts on the importance of giving back.

Stella O’Rourke, Corporate Development & Events Manager, UMOM New Day Centers

Question: Why is it important to give back to your community?

Answer: Communities cannot thrive unless we all come together to support one another. It is important to give back because giving back creates a ripple effect. Like a smile, giving back is contagious. Doing one nice thing for someone, giving a few hours of your time really makes a difference. Imagine if we all gave “our 1%”. What a difference we could make if each person gave just 1% of their talent, 1% of their time, 1% of the money in their pocket, 1% of the food in their pantry. Could you imagine how much our community would grow? Imagine what we could accomplish together!! Giving back starts with you! Every member of our community has value they can add for the betterment of our community. We are stronger when we work together.

Question: What advice do you have for those who don’t think they have time to give back?

Answer: Find it! Restructuring your time to give back to our community will teach you a lot about yourself in addition to learning about the causes you support. Helping our community’s most marginalized individuals feel seen for the first time is not a feeling you will want to miss out on! You’ll create a difference that will have a snowball effect on our community—an opportunity you may have missed just because you didn’t feel you had the ability/time to show up.

Question: What volunteer opportunities does the Chamber’s VYP program provide?

Answer: The Chamber’s VYP program is always supporting our community. Through their promoted Charity of Choice for the year, partnerships within the community, and connecting with their knowledgeable and dedicated staff, you are bound to find an opportunity that aligns with your passion(s). Reach out, come to events, and read the monthly newsletters they put out! Don’t forget to follow the Chamber and VYP on social media to learn more about volunteer opportunities AND share the opportunities you participate in!

Justin O’Connell, Business Development Specialist, Account Manager and IT Recruiter, VincentBenjamin

Question: What advice do you have for those who don’t think they have time to give back?

Answer: Giving back to your community doesn’t have to been seen as a large time commitment. I am very passionate about quality education for all students. Although I might not have time to volunteer in the classroom or at school regularly, I make time to volunteer with Teach For America. We meet about ten times a year and put on one large fundraiser that benefits this cause, and the time commitment is doable on any professional’s busy schedule.

Question: What volunteer opportunities does the Chamber’s VYP program provide?

Answer: The VYP program at the Greater Phoenix Chamber offers a number of volunteer opportunities.  One example is every year VYP has offered an exclusive opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics Arizona.  Attendees were able to play in a variety of sports and activity stations with some of the student-athletes.  I would highly encourage everyone to check out these events.  They are a great opportunity to learn more, give back, and grow as an individual. hairy woman

Posted by Annelise Patterson

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