Cream of the Crop features a rotating panel from the Harvest Group, a landscape business consulting company.
The past six months have been unlike any other both in our business and personal lives. Even with lawn care and landscape services considered essential in most of the U.S., we’ve had to adapt our businesses to keep both our employees and customers safe.
Throughout the pandemic – and faced with a lot of uncertainty – timely communication became a central tenet that successful companies embraced. Transparency and candid communications settled unease and frayed nerves and – maybe more than anything else – created a feeling of community. A feeling that we’re all in this together vs. working independently and/or against each other resulted in a surprising calm.
In addition to the many logistical, health, technical and other strategic changes businesses had to make, a renewed or increased sense of empathy has become evident across the landscape industry.
Why do people volunteer and give back? People volunteer for many reasons. For some, it’s a chance to give back to their community in which they reside or earn a living. For others, it’s about the people and making a difference in someone’s life.
Twelve Reasons Why People Volunteer
- Personal tie to a cause
- Help others
- Make a difference
- Connect with your community
- Feel involved
- Develop new skills or build on existing experience
- Build or enhance a resume
- Setting a good example for others
- Meeting like-minded, motivated people
- Gain unique and exciting opportunities
- Gain greater perspective and self-awareness
- Simply put, it’s good for you
The Harvesters encourage volunteering in our communities and actively participate in numerous industry specific programs. Contractors are uniquely qualified to lend their time and talents to a cause. They can make a significant difference in performing services that come second nature to them, but that are difference-makers to neighborhoods, cities and individuals across the country.
Here are some industry-specific volunteer programs that we recommend:
GreenCare for Troops/GreenCare for our HealthCare Heroes is a nationwide program from Project EverGreen. This program makes it easy to help an active duty military family in need in your community. It’s as easy as adding one more family to an established route. In the registration process, contractors can select how many families they can help, what services they can provide and how far they are willing to travel. Those metrics are matched with those of a family in your service area. Services are provided free of charge to the military family for the length of deployment, which is generally nine months to one year. The program has been expanded to include health care heroes serving on the front lines of the pandemic.
GreenCare for Communities is another nationwide initiative from Project EverGreen. The program helps revitalize, restore and enhance urban parks, playing fields and public green spaces in need. Greener, healthier, cooler parks and green spaces turn the tide for communities in five ways:
1. Outdoor enjoyment
2. Healthier lifestyles
3. Economic growth
4. Community development
5. Environmental benefits
More than ever, healthy and safe parks are needed for people to get outside of their homes and offices to connect with others.
Renewal & Remembrance is an annual event is hosted by the National Association of Landscape Professional at Arlington National Cemetery. The day of service is designed to enhance and maintain the hallowed grounds of our nation’s heroes. The volunteer experience is without a doubt a not-to-be-missed event for lawn and landscape contractors, arborists, irrigation contractors and others who want to bring their professional expertise to this beloved military cemetery.