Just Projects Inc.




By: Diane Wadham, Director, Corporate Relations


 Years ago when my husband and I were partners in several restaurants, we got together with all the partners to propose an evening of giving back.  We decided to dedicate an entire evening to treating low-income families. Our partners were very supportive and welcoming of this idea; our next step in the process was to bring our staff into the equation. Proposing this idea to our employees was greeted with enthusiastic commitment.  Essentially we were requesting that they perform duties in which they were already familiar, thus removing one of the common obstacles to committing to a volunteer project; the uncertainty of what one is committing to.

 We tied it into the Christmas season and had a night of dinners, visit with Santa and presents.  When our customers would call to make a reservation on the evening this event was booked, we would explain why that evening was unavailable as a way of advertising what we were doing.  This served to raise our profile among our customer base and within our immediate community.

Gratitude and appreciation were in abundance during the event and the resulting good feelings were felt by our staff and us long after the event was over.  A by-product of this was that volunteerism was something that many of us saw could be a meaningful part of our lives.

Often, small businesses with so few human resources to draw from are concerned that they cannot be successful at a volunteer project.  While this is a common belief, it can be managed with proper planning and forethought. When you ensure a volunteer initiative is planned to use the talents that each employee possesses, then there will be a benefit to not only the employees, but also to the community.  

The benefit to focusing on the talents within your organization is that is provides a familiar framework in which to begin your volunteer initiative.  The usual barriers of figuring out what to do and how to do are removed and you can start your planning with confidence and familiarity.

 The list of potential ways to utilize the talents within your organization is potentially endless:  Dentists can donate their talents to those not in a position to afford event the most basic of care; hair stylists and make-up artists have helped underprivileged girls prepare for their high school proms and plastic surgeons have provided reconstructive surgery at no charge to ensure a better life for their pro-bono patients.

Whatever the talents are that your employees have, there is a need in the community for those talents. Sharing those talents is a straightforward way to give back with significant rewards to both the giver and the receiver.


The only gift is a portion of thyself.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson



For more information regarding this newsletter, please contact:

Diane Wadham, Director, Corporate Relations


Please note this newsletter is by Just Projects, copyright 2011.  Content was written by Diane Wadham.  Any Just Projects newsletter may be copied to your heart’s content as long as you kindly ask us first via email