In May, 20 volunteers from Cambridge-based Biotech firm Intellia Therapeutics visited IINE offices to tackle an office-wide spring cleaning and provide behind-the-scenes support to refugees, immigrants, and unaccompanied immigrant minors.
Intellia’s team started with lunch and an info-session to learn about refugee affairs and the needs of local organizations. After pizza and discussion, they broke into teams to take on important work in three areas.
“The first group helped prepare welcome packets for our Unaccompanied Children’s Program,” Molly April said. She is the office manager at IINE’s Boston headquarters.
“Our case managers for the UAC program help migrant children adjust to life in the US. The welcome packets that the volunteers put together provide first resources to the children and their families, while simultaneously welcoming them and helping them feel more at ease.”
The Intellia team prepared enough materials to last through the next six months. The second team did a comprehensive cleaning of six ESOL classrooms and computer lab.
“Keeping a clean, organized, focused, and welcoming classroom can be difficult when there are so many people using the space,” Molly said. “The volunteers helped by eliminating some of the distracting mess around the classes.”
The final group organized and cataloged the food pantry that is available to all IINE clients. This included cleaning the space but also accounting for each item and verifying the quality and expiry of each. Their projected helped ensure quality items were properly stored and ready to be distributed to the more than 500 people who access the IINE Food Pantry each year.
Intellia was introduced to IINE through Life Science Cares, a nonprofit partner connecting life science companies with NGO’s in the greater Boston area.
“We have found that volunteering brought together the Intellia family,” Intellia’s Senior Scientist Sharmistha Kundu said. “Employees not only enjoyed going outside their workplace and working with different partners during this event, but they also appreciated the opportunity to interact with other colleagues at Intellia with whom they may have shared passions and interests.”
Employers who organize volunteer efforts with IINE not only give back to their community, but can reap the benefits of: building a stronger team, a healthier workplace, and improved employee retention.
In 2017, a survey conducted by Deloitte of 1,000+ recent corporate volunteers found that 74% of employees think volunteerism provides an improved sense of purpose in the workplace, and 89% of employees believe that companies who organize volunteer activities offer a better overall work environment than those who do not.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with IINE, click here.