Volunteer time off is new perk for Sanford employees

New benefit aims to invest employee time, talent in Sanford Health communities

Sanford Health workers in matching "Blue Crew" T-shirts pack canned goods in a garage.

Sanford Health now offers a new benefit for its employees: paid volunteer time off.

“The volunteer time benefit demonstrates the understanding that we all play an important role in the health and healing of our communities,” Chief People Officer Darren Walker said.

As of April 1, full-time employees receive up to eight paid hours per year, and part-time employees receive up to four paid hours. Employees can use the time at most organizations holding 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 status, other than Sanford Health.

“It offers the opportunity for paid time away from work to volunteer in our communities for a cause that is important to them,” Walker said.

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Stacy Wrightsman, executive director of community relations, said offering the benefit is the “right thing to do.”

“Sanford Health is woven into the communities we serve,” she said. “We already volunteer our time on boards, event committees, service clubs and the like. By formalizing a program like this, we have even more support and encouragement to get out there, roll up our sleeves and serve our communities.”

The benefit will support Sanford Health employees who already volunteer, as well as encourage others to become more involved in their communities, Walker said.

“Many of our employees are already very active with organizations in their community while others may have been looking for the right opportunity to get involved,” he said. “We want to make it easier for them to find the dedicated time away from work to give their time and talents in service to their communities.”

Sanford Health is continuously searching for ways to invest in the community and support its employees, Walker said. The new benefit matches both of those priorities.

“Sanford Health has an impressive history of investing in our communities — by enabling world-class care close to home, sponsoring community events and facilities, investing in our schools and in scholarships and more. This new benefit extends that investment through the hearts and hands of our people.”

The volunteer time is not required, though leaders like Walker hope employees will take advantage of the benefit.

“We hope you take advantage of this new opportunity to seek out and support organizations that are doing good in our communities and offer your assistance.”

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