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Working at HON has taught me the importance of corporate responsibility and giving back to your community – not to mention just how easy it can be. For example, HON headquarters hosts member Jeans Days on Fridays to give employees the opportunity to donate to a cause in exchange for a more casual dress code. Throughout the year, members vote on the charities that mean the most to them so that everyone feels a close connection to the mission. In 2016 alone, member Jeans Days at HON headquarters raised over $12,000.  This amount was then matched by the HNI Charitable Foundation, a group dedicated to fulfilling the HNI vision to “Be a Responsible Corporate Citizen”, for a grand total of almost $25,000.

HNI, The HON Company and Allsteel have joined together for many years to support City of Hope – an independent research and medical institution recognized as a leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS – raising a record $635,000 in 2016.

This simple act of donating to many amazing organizations as a company inspired a personal challenge that I took on this year to donate to a new charity every week throughout 2017. I have picked local charities that serve my immediate community, as well as national and international causes by which my life has been personally affected.

HON’s dedication to its community has shown me that small acts can make a huge impact, both in our local neighborhoods and around the world. And it’s not always just about financial donations. In addition to gifts of money, it can be just as meaningful to write handwritten letters or personally thank your coworkers, customers and community members. I recently sent a thank you basket of treats to my local doctor’s office to recognize what they do for our community and thank the receptionist who impressed me with her professionalism at my last visit. It was an inexpensive way to show appreciation for a strong, local business and to make others feel valued.

What can you do to help out your fellow coworker, your customer, or your local community? If you don’t have the money to give, try simple things like writing a personal thank you to the teammate who helped you on an important project. Thank the person that held the door open for you as you walked back in from your lunch break.  Wave the guy through in the intersection on your commute to work. Even the simple act of paying for someone’s coffee can cause a huge ripple effect that puts a smile on everyone’s face. With the help of HON and HNI, I have been exposed to and learned a lot about the wonderful causes that our members find important and can’t wait to find new opportunities to give back.

How does your office give back to its community? What causes are important to you?

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