Donated Time Adds Up to 24 Hours of Impact
July 28th, 2015
Itâ€™s said volunteering in your community can encourage civic responsibility, promote personal growth and bring people together who otherwise wouldnâ€™t interact. This past weekend, hundreds of Omahans put this theory to the test, taking part in an event called â€œ24 Hours of Impactâ€.
Most people are busy. Between work, home life, waiting in traffic, waiting at the doctorâ€™s office, OR waiting at the DMV itâ€™s hard to find extra time; let alone find time to give back.
So a group from Leadership Omaha thought what if they set aside one day, one 24-hour period, and get as many people as possible to volunteer for one hour? Thatâ€™s it. And just like that, one hour of service, became 24 Hours of Impact.
Friday July 24th was Omahaâ€™s first 24 Hours of Impact event. Hundreds volunteered to help with projects ranging from neighborhood clean-ups to taking care of horses, even playing poker with a few colorful characters at the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home.
Take for instance Louis Garrod, a Navy veteran who served during World War II. Garrod said heâ€™s played cards in some beautiful places (South Pacific, South Atlantic, off the coast of Australia). Even though he once won $4300 in one hand, Garrod said he doesnâ€™t play for money anymore, but for comradery he enjoys with friends.
Helping veterans feel better was why the dealer in Garrodâ€™s poker game, and the announcer at the bingo game one table over were showed up at the Veterans Home. Wells Fargo hosted a gaming hour as a part of 24 Hours of Impact. Whitney Giles, an investigator with Wells Fargo, said 24 Hours of Impact should be an annual Omaha event.
â€œBecause who doesnâ€™t have an hour? A lot of people are like, â€˜I donâ€™t have time to volunteer.â€™ But if itâ€™s really just an hour, who couldnâ€™t find an hour? Do it on your lunch hour,â€ Giles said.
Wells Fargo is one of about 50 businesses to participate in this yearâ€™s 24 Hours of Impact. Hundreds more individuals chose to make their impact, by staying closer to home.
Michaela Smith, an Omaha business lawyer and mother of two, organized a food drive with other families from the neighborhood. It may have been the hottest day of the year, with a heat index in the triple digits, but Smith and a team of neighborhood kids pulled three red wagons up and down the streets, collecting cans and boxes of food to be given to the Stephens Center for Emergency Shelter.
Smith said giving back by helping those less fortunate is important, but she said itâ€™s just as important to pass that lesson on to the next generation.
â€œI think weâ€™ve got somewhere around 17 kids out here right now, and their parents, on the hottest day of the year. So thatâ€™s pretty good!â€ Smith said.
Mosah Goodman is one of the 7 co-founders of 24 Hours of Impact. He said, â€œfor people who had to initiate an idea, launching it on zero dollars, weâ€™re well on our way to reaching our first milestone of having a yearâ€™s worth of benefit in one day.â€
It would take 8760 people donating one hour to cram a yearâ€™s worth of benefit into a single day. Thanks to social media, however, Goodman said maybe by next year 24 Hours of Impact could cram not just one year of benefit into a single day, but two years.
â€œIf you check the Twitter feeds and the Facebook posts and just sort of the energy, I think we were even trending at one point, which Iâ€™m told is a good thing in the world of tweetsâ€”I think the energy around [24 Hours of Impact] is such, and the excitement and simplicity of it lends itself to people wanting to do it again next year. So weâ€™ve heard nothing but good things and I think thatâ€™s what weâ€™re expecting in the future,â€ Goodman said.
Mosah said many of the companies that took part in this yearâ€™s 24 Hours of Impact will be back next year. He and the other co-founders are also in the process of evaluating where they can improve upon their idea, so that it can grow into an annual event.
Comments are closed.