Why Your Office Should Pay Your Team To Volunteer

What can volunteering do for your team? Find out how helping the community can also help your workforce.

by Ettie Berneking

Jul 01 2022 at 8 a.m.

If you’re in the middle of scrolling through ideas on how to improve your office culture and new team building activities your team will actually like, hit pause. The thing you’re looking for could be as simple as encouraging your team to volunteer in the community. American National tried this out more than 30 years ago, and it’s worked so well, they now have a page on their internal website where team members can find local nonprofits the company highly recommends volunteering with. The company even gives every team member one paid day off every year to spend volunteering.

“It’s about supporting personal growth and development inside and outside of the office,” says Dean McCall, vice president of P & C business operations. McCall has been with American National for 24 years, and the company’s encouragement around volunteering is a big part of the culture that he loves. McCall volunteers for Future Business Leaders of America and with Ozarks Food Harvest on the annual United Way of the Ozarks Day of Caring event. He says volunteering as a department serves a few purposes. It’s a great team building experience, but it’s also a way to build name recognition in the community.

“I see people plan a volunteer activity and gather two or three of their teammates,” says Cindy Norman, a senior agent experience group analyst at American National. Norman first got involved with Day of Caring 30 years ago at the inaugural event thanks to American National. Today, she serves as a co-chair on the Day of Caring committee. “It gives you a chance to make an impact in your community but it’s also a way to make life-long friends,” she says. “We have people who volunteer at Convoy of Hope, Springfield Public Schools, Salvation Army, the Springfield Zoo and a few team members volunteer weekly at the Springfield Dream Center serving dinner.”

With more nonprofits in Springfield than you could count on two hands, we’ve rounded up a few that are ready and eager to sign up large groups of volunteers. So next time your office is looking for a way to connect and give back, we hope this list comes in handy.


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United Way of the Ozarks Day of Caring
Photo courtesy United Way of the OzarksThis year is the United Way’s 30th year of hosting its annual Day Of Caring Event. The event is the largest community volunteer event in the area.

1. United Way Day of Caring

What It Does: This annual event is the single largest community volunteer event in 417-land, and last month was the United Way’s 30th year hosting the event. Each year, volunteers sign up for either a 4-hour or an 8-hour work shift at one of the dozens of nonprofits taking part in Day of Caring. Volunteers help with everything from facility improvements and gardening, to painting and packing lunches. With more than 40 nonprofits looking for volunteers, there are plenty of jobs to tackle. American National has been encouraging its team members to participate in Day of Caring since the event’s inauguration. It’s an easy event for team members to plan for and get excited about, and Dean says it’s a great team building activity. “We’re not all in the office every day,” he says, “so this gives us a chance to work alongside each other outside of the office and serve our community.”

How To Get Involved: Visit to learn how your business could participate in United Way’s Day of Caring 2023.

Volunteers with Harmony House in Springfield MO
Photo courtesy Harmony HouseHarmony House has an online Amazon wishlist, which makes it easy for groups to fundraise and purchase the shelter’s urgently needed items.

2. Harmony House

What It Does: Harmony House provides shelter and support services to domestic violence survivors and their children. To date, it has provided more than 600,000 meals and 600,000 safe nights of sleep to those in need. There are several ways you can get involved on your own or as a group. If you want to donate your time, take the shelter’s volunteer training course, then choose how you want to help. You can organize the shelter’s boutique, help maintain the facility landscaping, attend to basic repairs, clean the shelter and office, staff the front desk or serve meals. If you’d like to organize a donation drive at your office, it couldn’t be easier. Harmony House has an Amazon Wish List online with its most urgently needed items. You can place your order through Amazon, and the items will be shipped directly to Harmony House.

How To Get Involved: To volunteer, contact Carol Wendt at 417-837-7700 or To donate, contact Lisa Christy at 417-837-7700 or at

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Springfield
Photo courtesy Habitat For Humanity SpringfieldThe local Habitat For Humanity chapter has group build volunteer days, and volunteers are also needed to help with annual events, home renovations and cleanups.

3. Habitat For Humanity Springfield

What It Does: Habitat For Humanity is best known for helping families build and buy homes of their own, but this organization does a lot more than that. It also helps homeowners renovate their homes to eliminate health and safety issues, and in Springfield, it’s focused on neighborhood revitalization in the Woodland Heights Neighborhood. One of the benefits of organizing a volunteer day with Habitat For Humanity, is the ease of getting this done. Groups and individuals can volunteer on a construction site Wednesday through Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. No construction experience is needed, and all the gear and equipment is provided. If you’re not up to swinging a hammer, you can also volunteer at the ReStore or help setup for special events including the Tool Belts and Bow Ties Gala or Rock the Block neighborhood cleanup days.

How To Get Involved: Contact or call 417-829-4001.

Volunteer with FosterAdopt Connect in Springfield MO
Photo courtesy FosterAdopt ConnectFosterAdopt Connect provides children in foster care and their families with resources including food, school supplies, clothing and hygiene products.

4. FosterAdopt Connect

What It Does: This nonprofit is dedicated to helping change the lives of children in foster care. It connects children to community programs whether they need legal advice, housing, food, school supplies and more, and it works with foster parents who need assistance navigating the child welfare system and who are ready to be trained on how to be the best foster parents possible. There are many ways to get involved and support the efforts of FosterAdopt Connect. If you want to donate your time, you can host a clothing, school supply or holiday gift drive. You can also host a Respite Event, which gives foster parents some much needed time off, or gather a volunteer group to work with Sammy’s Window—which provides school supplies, clothing, food and hygiene items to children in foster care—to sort and repackage donations. The group served more than 2,000 people in the month of April, and is now expanding into rural counties. 

How To Get Involved: Call 417-866-3672

Springfield Dream Center volunteer.
Photo courtesy Springfield Dream CenterBlock parties are one way the Springfield Dream Center gathers community residents together for games and food. It’s also a time when residents can connect with community partners and learn about available resources.

5. Springfield Dream Center

What It Does: The Dream Center is zeroed in on helping families who live in Springfield’s Zone 1. This area of Springfield has the highest rates of poverty, addiction and abuse, so the nonprofit is on a mission to provide resources and life skills to residents who call Zone 1 home. As part of this effort, the Springfield Dream Center provides free weekly community dinners Wednesday evenings; it hosts block parties throughout the year with kids’ games, food and community networking; it runs a diaper bank during the week, assembles aid boxes for seniors, and it runs the DC Academy—a program for students at Bowerman Elementary and Reed Middle School who qualify for free/reduced lunches—that provides students with healthy snacks, and mini lessons in body movement, art, mindful practices, and social and emotional learning curriculum. Springfield Dream Center is always looking for groups of volunteers, and the list of projects you could help with is a long one.

How To Get Involved: If you have a group of 10 or more people ready to volunteer, fill out the DC form online.

About American National Insurance


American National is an insurance company that offers a wide range of policies for customers who need to find peace of mind. They offer policies from home, auto and life, to commercial and agribusiness. The company also believes taking care of business starts with taking care of its employees, which is why it offers a comprehensive benefits program that supports all associate’s efforts and encourages a healthy work-life balance.