At Hager Sharp, volunteering and giving back to our community is a core feature of our company culture. Our founder, Susan Hager, devoted her life to helping others. She was one of the early VISTA volunteers (now incorporated as AmeriCorps VISTA), started a Head Start program at a small village in Alaska, blazed a trail for women business owners, and founded Hager Sharp as a means to harness marketing and communications as powerful tools for positive change.

Susan inspired a sense of service in all who knew her, and her legacy in this regard remains strong to this day within Hager Sharp. Each year, Hager Sharpers make use of their Hager Hours – 16 hours of paid time off annually – to volunteer and serve their community in ways that matter most to them. This year, our team’s service has included volunteering with:

With these organizations, Hager Sharpers have chaperoned activities, planned and implemented events, organized fundraisers, directed people to resources (like vaccinations, free locally grown fruits and vegetables, yoga and meditation) at a community wellness event, developed strategic communications plans, raised awareness, participated in panel discussions and presentations, and more. The beauty of our Hager Hours benefit is its flexible design that allows each of us to serve in a way that is most meaningful to us personally.

We also volunteer as a team to magnify our individual impact. To mark Hager Sharp’s 50th anniversary in June, we visited JK Community Farm in Purcellville, Virginia, a local farm and nonprofit that grows and provides produce for people to enhance their nutrition security. While there, we planted more than 35,000 sweet potatoes for harvest this Fall.

As the world marks International Volunteer Day on December 5th – a day for celebrating and thanking people around the word for their voluntary service – we are encouraging our team to close out 2023 with an act of service. Do you have an organization or activity to recommend?