Over the next few months, we will be encouraging Network members to develop their leadership potential through volunteering and community organizing to address local needs and give back to their communities. From individuals to businesses, social responsibility is a force for civil and economic vitality:
- Approximately 56 million people volunteer annually across South America — that’s more than Colombia’s total population.
- Volunteers in South America contribute $24.2 billion to global GDP. In 2004, volunteer work added over $2 billion to Argentina’s GDP alone.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that an hour of volunteering is worth roughly $24.14 — a valuable investment in local organizations receiving volunteer time, talent and energy.
- Large Mexican firms like Grupo Bimbo and Grupo Salinas practice corporate responsibility in ways that reflect Latin American history and cultural values because integrating social good into their business strategies is also good for business.
- Volunteerism builds social capital, or the social networks that help individuals create communities that work efficiently and effectively and will eventually prosper.
By integrating volunteerism into entrepreneurship, YLAI members can help redefine business-community relations in Latin America. Over the next two months, YLAI Empowers Communities will encourage participants to get more involved in their communities. We will offer a course on community organizing and provide you with a toolkit to get started. You can also take part in an online chat to learn tips and share your stories with other Network members on how your organization has contributed to social good.
The highlight of the campaign is #YLAIEmpowers Communities Action Week from July 17–24 — an opportunity for Network members to lead, organize, support or participate in volunteer efforts in their local communities.
Communities prosper when every part of society invests in social good. Focus these two months on #YLAIEmpowers Communities and spread a culture of social responsibility everywhere the YLAI Network reaches.