Employee Volunteer Programs in Federal Government?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Cynthia Hilsinger 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #130019

    Gary T Lefko
    Participant

    Hello

    Does anyone out there work for an Agency where there is an employee volunteer program whereby Federal employees can track community service hours; be recognized for said service; have the ability to do community service during duty hours?

    If so, email please [email protected] we are considering developing a community service program for our employees as a part of our employee engagement strategy.

    Gary

  • #130039

    Carol Davison
    Participant

    I would check with timekeeping at the Best Places to Work in Federal Government. If anyone knows, they would. However I don’t see how it is not falsifying time keeping records if the supervisor certifies that you worked for them for 40 hours a week if you are out habitating for humanity.

  • #130037

    Marilyn
    Participant

    I think that the Treasury sometimes allows their employees to help with VITA and mentoring at elementary schools and I know that VA allows employees to help with Meals on Wheels and with Veterans events.

  • #130035

    Gary T Lefko
    Participant

    OPM allows for “flexing” of hours and leadership and partnership councils can setup matching hour programs (I go to gym two hours a week during duty hours; have to match that wellness activity with two hours during my personal time. So, four hours of wellness, two of which conducted durng duty hours.

  • #130033

    Melinda Malico
    Participant

    The Dept of ED allows employees to volunteer to work with students and my office runs the two programs. We do Horton’s Kids and Everybody Wins!DC.

  • #130031

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    Since the Bush-era EO was passed, the Dept. of Homeland Security has established a Volunteer Community Service program. We have a directive that allows up to 40 hours of administrative leave for mission-related volunteer activities (e.g., USCG Auxiliary, rebuilding homes in the Gulf Coast, etc.). In fact, we have a team going back to Mississippi Gulf Coast for the 5th year to rebuild homes with Habitat for Humanity of the Gulf Coast. Most volunteer opportunities are sponsored by our Homeland Young Professionals, an in-house employee association.

  • #130029

    Gary T Lefko
    Participant

    Thanks Terry–any chance you can email me the directive to look at? Gary at [email protected]

  • #130027

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    Sure, but I can’t access GovLoop at work, where the directive resides, so I’ll send it to you on Monday. What agency do you work for? Does FS stand for? Foreign Service? Usually government agencies have a .gov e-mail address.

  • #130025

    Gary T Lefko
    Participant

    FS==>Department of Agriculture’s ==> U. S. Forest Service. Thanks Gary

  • #130023

    Charles A. Ray
    Participant

    I have established a volunteer program in my embassy and everyone from each agency is encouraged to participate. While the policies of each agency is different, we use the Benjamin Franklin impact award to recognize outstanding volunteers. In addition, our public affairs section ensures that local media coverage is focused on those volunteers doing a really outstanding job.

    We did a special program last year starting on the anniversary of 9/11 and ending on Veterans Day (11/11) which got international coverage and involved the majority of people in the embassy. Anyone wanting details of how we set our program up can contact me at [email protected] for detailed information.

  • #130021

    Charles A. Ray
    Participant

    Carol: One way around the timekeeping dilemma is to have volunteer activity on weekends or other nonwork time. Also, it depends on how you define work. If volunteer activity is made a part of the organization’s mission – building community relations, for instance – then, the time spent ‘habitating for humanity’ is work. I guess I have a military bias rather than a civil servant bent – not all work is done chained to a desk eight hours per day.

  • #293756

    Cynthia Hilsinger
    Participant

    https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/related-information/
    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared the following guidance to support the efforts of departments and agencies to encourage employee participation in volunteer activities.

    Departments and agencies are encouraged to recognize their employees who volunteer their skills to help others. A department or agency may wish to become a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award (http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov). Certifying Organizations agree to perform the following roles:

    Verify that the volunteer(s) has completed the number of service hours required to earn a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

    Open Opportunities: Open Opportunities is a government wide program offering professional development opportunities and facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing across the Federal Government.
    Website: https://openopps.usajobs.gov/tasks

    I would go to my supervisor and tell him/her how your volunteering can support the agency by giving you: Leadership skills, technical skills, highlight the agency to OPM or the White House, media, community. Make your volunteering a win-win for both sides of the request.

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