As a company, FlexJobs believes wholeheartedly in paying it forward whenever possible. Not only do we support various nonprofit organizations throughout the year, but FlexJobs also encourages team members to spend “on-the-clock” time every month to pay it forward in whatever way most resonates with them.
As a fully remote company that embraces flexible work, FlexJobs gives staff the flexibility they need to volunteer in their communities—and we couldn’t be more excited to share their amazing stories of giving back.
This month, we’re happy to feature Data Entry Specialist, Kevin Fox, who works with his local autism center to provide support and resources.
What organization are you involved with, and how did you choose it?
I’ve been volunteering with the GCA Centre for Adult Autism (located at the Chattanooga Autism Center). I first got involved because I am autistic and was looking for a place for social activities in the Chattanooga area, but it has turned into much more than that.
How much time do you devote to your volunteer work?
I average 5-10 hours a week (depending on need). At the moment, 95% of it is from home due to the pandemic, although once the pandemic ends, I will likely start going into the Center regularly again.
What do you do for the organization?
I facilitate support group meetings, which are an opportunity for people with autism from the community to network and talk about their lives in a safe space. I also work maintaining the Greater Chattanooga Aspies email account, social media accounts, and website. GCA is an adult division of the autism center that focuses on adults in the area; the rest of the services at the Chattanooga Autism Center are geared more towards children or young adults getting their first job.
I also helped the GCA plan the 4th Annual Southeast Adult Autism Symposium, which took place on July 24-25 on Zoom and featured speakers and presentations on autism and employment, dating and relationships, and mental health, among other things.
What’s the best part of it for you?
I really enjoy the chance to give people a social outlet and access to resources they really need, especially since I had trouble finding those things too when I first moved here. I’ve gotten to meet many wonderful people in the Chattanooga, north Georgia, and Atlanta areas.
How does flexible work help you volunteer?
Flexible work greatly helps me volunteer because the Chattanooga Autism Center office hours are normal Monday-Friday business hours, and most of the nighttime meetings are during the week as well. If I had a job with “traditional” hours, I would not be able to volunteer as much, but I am now able to plan my work hours around what I am doing at the Autism Center that week, working some night and weekend hours when needed.
How has your volunteering role changed during the pandemic?
Volunteering has changed during the pandemic in that I used to go to the physical Autism Center building in Chattanooga at least twice a week, and now most of my work is from home. I’ve only been to the building three times since March 3—quite a change! We’ve gone from having in-person support group meetings to Zoom support group meetings, and attendance has actually grown, which has been great. We were able to plan and run the entire autism conference from home, and I’ve also been given access to update the website from home.
I think we’re finding out during this time that people are flexible, and a lot more can be done online than we thought. It is important to keep providing support and resources to people because everyday life still goes on even as the pandemic persists. I’m really thankful that we’ve been able to adjust and adapt in this way.
Volunteer Your Time
Whether you’re just beginning your job search or have already landed the flexible job of your dreams, making time in your schedule to pay it forward will pay you back in more ways than you can ever imagine.
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