Employees from LSI’s Austin site build a Habitat for Humanity house during our 2012 Volunteer Week.

Take a moment and think – how much of your average day is impacted by a volunteer? Volunteer boards run local schools and volunteer firefighters save lives and property.Volunteers help keep parks clean and our kids play sports under the guidance of volunteer coaches. Every day.

Volunteerism is a winning value and the backbone of our communities, which is why corporations embrace it. This commitment is part of our corporate culture and is supported by everyone – employees, executives, the community, our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.

LSI employees in Bangalore, India, prepare to load trucks with food, toiletries, clothing and other necessities donated by employees to seven organizations.

At LSI, for instance, we’re getting ready for the seventh annual Volunteer Week, during which close to half of our employees will engage in at least one charitable activity. A list of opportunities will be provided for each site and participants select what interests them most. They paint, clean, do landscaping, collect food, cook for the homeless, build houses, mentor students, interact with children and seniors citizens –  any kind of volunteer activity you can imagine.

In addition to LSI Volunteer Week, each site participates in other local activities. In San Jose, groups bring collections for a food shelter, in Allentown employees fill spring baskets for underprivileged children, in Minnesota our people participate in Food Share Month, and in India our Corporate Social Responsibility Committee oversees a number of activities including blood drives.

LSI volunteers in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, put together furniture for Bridging Inc., which provides furniture and household goods to thousands of local families and individuals in need.

Beyond that, our employees volunteer in numerous non company-sponsored activities in their communities, places of worship, schools and local civic organizations.

Personally, I have come to realize how much can be learned about leadership through my own experiences as a volunteer; skills such as engaging varied stakeholders, working in an environment of diverse values and opinions, and achieving genuine commitment to an end vision.     Volunteerism is part of our LSI culture because it’s good for the community, employees and our businesses.

And if you ever doubt the value of volunteerism, remember this: Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers. The Titanic was built by professionals!


Hayden Thomas is responsible for compensation and benefits, talent management and employee relations. Previously, he led the company’s manufacturing supply chain,... Read more

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