Go Do Good: How Volunteering Can Improve Your Skills + Make You Feel Better

Go Do Good: How Volunteering Can Improve Your Skills + Make You Feel Better

I’ll be honest: this winter sucked.

I went through some sad times in my family, and everything was magnified by the cold and snow. #WinterProblems, right?

But there was one thing that really helped me through this rough patch: these awesome kids I mentor. They gave me a lot of perspective. Sure, things were still hard at times, but goofy 11-year-olds have a way of making everything a little easier.

Here at 9 Clouds, we’ve been volunteering our time, both individually and as a group. Through this, I’ve learned that giving your time to others is a great joy — and, for our team, a wonderful way to connect with each other and our community.

What We’re Doing

Volunteering can be a deeply personal activity; almost everyone on our team has a place they volunteer on their own. But as a group, we’ve found a few opportunities we can collectively put our energy behind.

Competitive Book Drive

The REACH Literacy competitive book drive combines our love of competition with our love of reading.

REACH helps people in the Sioux Falls community learn to read and write. Right now, the nonprofit is holding a competitive book drive to build up inventory for its bookstore. Many of 9 Clouds’ employees studied writing in college, and a lot of us belong to book clubs now. This means we’re a group with a lot of books to donate.

To up the ante in the competition, we’ve challenged our sister company Lemonly to Book Drive Happy Hour. The office with the most books collected gets free drinks from the losing team. (Obviously, Lemonly will be buying us a round.)

Serving at The Banquet

A shift serving at The Banquet, a local ministry serving up two meals a day to those in need, will undoubtedly brighten your day.

The 9 Clouds team recently volunteered for a breakfast shift, showing up bright and early (some of us hadn’t seen 5 a.m. in a while). A few of us were in charge of making breakfast — we fried 38 dozen eggs — and others on the team kept coffee cups full and conversation flowing.

We’ve also got an ongoing collection of plastic containers in our office, so those who come to The Banquet can have a meal to-go!

EmBe 5K Sponsorship

If you read last week’s newsletter, you already know running is kind of “in” at 9 Clouds right now. So when EmBe reached out to our team about sponsoring the Girls on the Run / Heart + Sole 5K this year, we happily said yes.

This program inspires young girls to be healthy and confident. As an office of women and super-supportive men, we’re 100% behind this mission.

Marketing from the Heart

Nothing on this list warms our hearts more than our Marketing from the Heart program.

This is our own volunteer program, where we’re donating our time and talents to a local nonprofit group. This program allows us to combine our passion for marketing with our love of community. I’m really looking forward to the announcement of our first nonprofit partnership, which is coming soon. Watch for that news in May!

What Volunteering Does For Us

I already mentioned the most basic and important benefits of volunteering: it makes you feel great helping others, and it helps you connect to the people around you.

Those aren’t the only advantages of giving your time to others, though.

If you need more motivation, volunteering can help you:

  1. Meet new people: Networking is awkward for a lot of us, but volunteering is a laid-back, natural way to meet new people! When you volunteer to do something you’re passionate about, you’re likely to have a genuine conversation with someone who has a shared interest with you.
  2. Develop your skills: For our team, Marketing from the Heart is a great chance to develop our skills outside of our client work. We can try new things and push ourselves while still doing quality work.
  3. Build confidence: Since we’re being super honest here, I am guilty of second-guessing myself sometimes. But through volunteering, I’ve found opportunities that confirmed my self-confidence. It helps to see my work skills viewed as valuable outside of the office setting.

What Will You Do?

Volunteering brings people together and gives you a way to use your talents, whatever they may be!

I hope you can find something that brings you as much joy as I’ve found mentoring middle schoolers and organizing Marketing from the Heart with everyone here at 9 Clouds. In the meantime, join our online community to stay in touch with 9 Clouds. You’ll hear what we’re learning about digital marketing and what we’re doing for those around us.