Employees, nonprofit charitable groups benefit from Temple hotel’s paid volunteerism program


A Temple hotel is joining a national trend of paying its employees to work for local charities of their choice.

Holiday Inn Temple-Belton employees pitched in this weekend to help the local Salvation Army prepare Angel Bags to distribute to local families in need.

“We are a small company, and we thought this would be a way to support our employees while also supporting local charitable organizations,” said Sarah Japalucci, sales manager of Holiday Inn Temple-Belton, located on I-35 a few blocks north of Midway Drive.

“I saw a news report on television that our local Salvation Army was short on volunteers to get their bags done, so as a company we decided to have our employees participate,” Japalucci said.

“We are getting creative with the perks we offer our employees, so we have decided to pay them to volunteer. This allows us to help our employees and give back to the community.”

“We have 29 employees, counting me,” she said. “This is a way to put some extra money in their pockets.”

Over the weekend and this week, Holiday Inn Temple-Belton is paying employees $9 an hour to help Salvation Army meet its goal of filling 600 Angel Bags with presents, clothes and other items for Tuesday’s distribution.

“We’ve decided to continue this program next year,” Japalucci said. “In 2023, we will be paying employees 40 hours for work at a nonprofit of their choice.”

“Our workers can pick a cause that appeals to them,” she said. “We have great diversity here at Holiday Inn Temple-Belton, and I want them to choose the charities they want to support.”

“This is a win-win situation — our employees win because they get an extra week’s pay, and the organizations win because they get much-needed volunteers.”

Paying employees to do charitable work is a growing trend among American companies, corporations and small businesses. Instead of donating a lump sum of money, more businesses are choosing to pay their employees to volunteer time.

The practice of paying employees to volunteer in the communities obviously bolsters bank accounts, but it boosts employee morale as well. According to a study by United Healthcare, employees who volunteer through work report feeling better about their employer and strengthened bonds with co-workers. 

Company support can range from simple strategies such as providing information and resources for volunteer activities, to offering paid time off and other recognition for employees who volunteer their time and skills to assist in the community. Many employers encourage employees to volunteer and even allow employees to take time off during their work day without loss of pay.

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