Virtual Volunteering at LINC

On Thursday, June 18, LINC’s staff joined ViacomCBS and Common Impact for a phenomenal two part event - ViacomCBS Virtual Service Day. This pioneer event gave birth to a whole new kind of volunteer experience, one that we are eager to make a tradition. You may be wondering how one can volunteer virtually. Thanks to a longtime relationship with ViacomCBS strengthened by LINC's Board member and ViacomCBS employee, John Halley, LINC had the opportunity to experience virtual volunteering firsthand. LINC has partnered with ViacomCBS to celebrate Viacommunity Day, the company’s day of service, for over a decade. Every year around Springtime, over twenty ViacomCBS volunteers come to PS 189 in Washington Heights to help the school celebrate T.I.G.E.R. (Together In Getting Everyone Reading) Day. The volunteers spend the day visiting classrooms and reading tiger-themed books aloud, singing tiger songs, and playing fun literacy games, which also happen to be tiger-themed. They also inspire students to read every day by talking to them about how reading has influenced their lives. This year’s project looked a little different but was just as impactful. ViacomCBS’ Virtual Service Day was organized by Common Impact -- a consulting organization that pairs non-profits who are short on internal resources with corporations who want to give back to their communities. Common Impact worked with LINC and ViacomCBS to develop a dynamic and robust skill-based virtual volunteer program for ViacomCBS’ Virtual Service Day where ViacomCBS staff around the world could give back to their communities online. The first part of this virtual volunteer event consisted of ViacomCBS staff creating their own read alouds for LINC families. Following a LINC-led orientation and read aloud demonstration on Zoom, volunteers went to work on their videos. Read alouds included stories from LINC’s Professional Advisory Council (PAC) member, Elida Ortiz who has served as LINC’s Viacommunity Team Leader for the past three years and LINC’s former PAC Chair, Jaime Coast. Long-time volunteer Georgina Philips, who has been a part of Viacommunity Day with LINC for almost a decade, also signed up to volunteer virtually. By the end of the week, LINC received over 30 read aloud videos in Spanish and English that will be added to our online summer programs. For the second part of the event, LINC’s development team collaborated with a panel of ViacomCBS marketing experts on how to attract more families to our online programs. This engaging consultation was packed with innovative strategies, tools and tips to strengthen LINC’s online program presence with limited resources. LINC staff were absolutely thrilled with the results of this session and have already started implementing many of the recommendations. It was an inspiring day for all and LINC staff are already looking forward to the next virtual volunteer event. Thank you ViacomCBS and Common Impact for helping us make strides in our online programming so that more little New Yorkers will learn to read. If you are interested in volunteering virtually with your corporate team on a read aloud or skills-based project, please contact Chabely Ramos at cramos@lincnyc.org or (212) 620-5462 ext. 124. Click here to watch the wonderful collection of read aloud videos created Viacommunity Day 2020.