Some Volunteers Give More Than A Day of Service in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

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By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Today, the nation celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year, the third Monday in January is designated as a federal holiday in his honor. But unlike most federal holidays, people are encouraged to get to work and volunteer in their communities.

There are a number of volunteer opportunities available in the Cedar Rapids area, but Martin Luther King Day of Service isn't just about volunteering on this one day. It's about finding ways to help your community throughout the year.

Some companies in the Cedar Rapids area, like TransAmerica, encourage their employees to give back.

TransAmerica offers each of their 3,500 employees 12 paid volunteer hours a year. Employees can give their time to the non-profit of their choice or take part in company wide volunteer efforts. Such as building an urban farm and playground in the Time Check neighborhood, for which the company won a national award.

"The community gives us our employees, which is our number one resource, so to share that back we feel is important, said Lon Olejniczak, Senior Vice President of TransAmerica. "A part of what we do is strengthening our communities."

Ojejniczak feels having an employee volunteer program helps with employee satisfaction and retention, benefiting the company as well as the community. Nationwide, TransAmerica employees volunteer 10,000 hours a year, and more than half of those volunteer hours come from the Cedar Rapids office.

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