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Neal Communities Participates in National Volunteer Week

Wednesday, May 1, 2024  |  News

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (May 2, 2024) – The week of April 22 – 26, Neal Communities held its first Volunteer Week, during which 63 employees volunteered time with community organizations in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The company has long supported philanthropy and employee volunteerism through corporate gifts and individual volunteering opportunities. The week-long coordinated event was an evolution of Neal Communities core belief that “Where You Live Matters” and commitment to giving back.

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week promotes and shows appreciation for volunteerism and volunteering. Many organizations host special events to celebrate volunteers, engage community members, and spread awareness about volunteer opportunities. A National Volunteer Week proclamation has been issued by the President of the Unites States each year since the holiday’s inception. In the U.S., National Volunteer week is organized by the Points of Light foundation.

Neal Communities’ employees volunteered for a variety of organizations, including The Haven, Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, All Star Children’s Foundation, Sarasota County Parks, Satchel’s Last Resort, Meals on Wheels of Manatee County and Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. They received full pay for the day of volunteerism, and many of the organizations also received corporate donations from Neal Communities. The total donations totaled $15,000.

Ivory Matthews, vice president of community and governmental affairs for Neal Communities, administers the company’s philanthropic efforts, called the “Plan for Giving.” She explained how Volunteer Week came about, saying, “Community involvement means a lot to me personally. I volunteer more than 10 hours a month in my personal time. It’s so enriching, and I wanted to bring that to the culture at Neal Communities, but I realized that many of our employees have a heart for volunteerism but struggle to find the time due to time constraints at work, commitments with family and the general busyness of everyday life.”

Volunteer Week gave Neal Communities’ employees the opportunity to volunteer during the workday. “The greatest thing is that people signed up to volunteer before they even realized they would be getting a paid day off to do it. We also had custom shirts and cups made for Volunteer Week to help build excitement,” Matthews said. “As an organization, we understand that it’s really important to give back, and that we bring others up by giving them the same opportunities we have. This is something we hope to do every year going forward.”

Neal Communities’ Human Resources team led the charge on organizing the week-long event. From managing employee sign-ups to ordering the personalized items given to the participants, their flawless execution resulted in a successful event for all.

Even with the up-front effort, the positive effect was evident. Katie Bondurant, payroll and benefits specialist at Neal Communities reflected, “Participating in Neal’s Volunteer week was a great opportunity to not only connect with my coworkers, it also reminded me that even small actions can make a big difference. It means a lot to me that Neal chooses to give back to our community.”

Sarah Downes, recruiting and development specialist also worked on  the event and agreed, “Working alongside our team and participating in Volunteer Week was a fantastic experience. Positively impacting our community fills us with incredible fulfillment and well-being.”

That fulfillment will most certainly be the catalyst for future events, underscored by Bryanna Cote, human resources assistant, “Volunteering was such a rewarding experience. Seeing first-hand the impact on the community as well as the impact right within the organization has made me excited to come back next year.”

Tashara Carmichael, vice president of human resources summed up the experience, “I’m so proud of my team’s efforts. The initiative was so well-received and it sparked such inspiration for giving back to our community.”

Katie Alderman, Neal Communities’ community affairs coordinator, helped choose the organizations and set schedules with them for the volunteers. “We chose organizations that have a high need for volunteers and that covered a variety of interests in the community. The response and excitement from employees was so fun to see,” she said.

Neal Communities, Southwest Florida’s premier, private homebuilder, has given more than $8 million to local charities throughout Southwest Florida and is committed to the communities where they live, work and build. For more information about Neal Communities, visit NealCommunities.com

Photos top and left show Neal Communities employees at Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue in Bradenton.
Bottom left shows Neal Communities volunteers at The Haven in Sarasota.
Neal Communities employees cleaning up with Sarasota County Parks.
Neal Communities employees volunteering with Satchel’s Last Resort (left) and Meals on Wheels
PLUS of Manatee County (right).