Planning Your Impact with Volunteer Time Off

How will you use your time this year to intentionally impact others? What’s your plan? Each year, you are generously given 40 hours of paid service project time. Candoris extends forty hours per person! If you do the math, with our current staffing, that’s 2,800 hours of service that Candorians can intentionally use to impact others. A full-time employee is considered to work 2,080 hours a year, so think about the fact that Candoris is committing more than one full-time person to serve our communities, churches, and nonprofit organizations…every year.

I’m one of the people who regularly uses all their VTO every yearI’ve been privileged to go on many trips – serving at a music camp at our Bahamian sister church in Nassau, helping run a kid’s camp in Manchester, NH, for inner city kids, and volunteering at the Operation Christmas Child distribution center in Baltimore.  

One of the trips that impacted me the most was when I traveled to Nassau with a group from my church to serve at All Saints Camp, known as the ‘AIDS’ camp. Once a leper colony, after many years of vacancy it turned into a place to house those with AIDS. Due to the stigma of HIV/AIDS in the Bahamas, many of those who contract the disease are shunned by their families and friends. Our job was to help paint and do finishing touches on recently-built shelters. The best part of the days happened at lunch, when I assisted in making and serving food. I even helped feed one of the residents who needed physical assistance to eat. I barely made it out of his “house” before I completely fell apart. His joy and humor amid horrible suffering is an image I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I was completely humbled and honored to be able to serve him in such a small way. 

Bahamian transportation, courtesy of Adventure Learning Center, where the team stayed during the week of service.
A fresh coat of paint for accommodations at Adventure Learning Camp
Lisa with the director of All Saints Camp

I’ve already submitted my request to serve for three days in June at my church’s annual youth camp. I work on the tech team, typically doing lights for all the sessions (check out the pics to see some of our past setups). It’s an amazing event that impacts over 100 high school students with sound gospel teaching; they have a lot of fun too (ask me about the giant slip-n-slide)! I’m often thanked during camp for taking time off from work to be there, which is the perfect opportunity to tell them that I didn’t have to use PTO- that I’m given service time every year. They are astonished. That’s just not how the world works…yet it does here at Candoris.   

A typical youth camp set

I challenge you to seek out opportunities, whether they be for a day or a week, near or far. Don’t waste time – get those requests in! 

About the author

Director of Finance

Possibly the most outgoing, joyful, adventurous Director of Finance you’ll ever find, Lisa Evans holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Messiah College and brings a wealth of expertise to Candoris. She is instrumental in standardizing and deploying updated accounting processes and policies that balance the entrepreneurial, creative, and sales sides of the company. Lisa annually dedicates time to leading Christian youth ministry camps, and recently stepped into a financial leadership role with Love and Grace Ministries- Haiti that provides housing, education, and care for at-risk youth.