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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 11, 2011 • Issue 11:07:01


Make children your business

Summer is in full swing, and for families with children at home, schedules are often more flexible than during the regular school year. This can mean logistical challenges for parents as they help youngsters explore new and novel activities, be they horseback riding, chess, woodworking or extreme sports. But the effort is usually rewarding for parents and children alike.

There are several ways you, as ISOs and merchant level salespeople, can help young people discover the world this summer, too, even if you're not a parent. Here are some ideas:

Take a child to work with you

The day federally designated for parents to bring their sons and daughters to work occurred in April. However, it's not too late to set up a day in August when everyone in your office who is interested can bring a youngster to work. This could be a son or daughter - or a niece, nephew or neighbor. Plan a tour for the children so you and your colleagues can explain your company's various departments and job functions to them. Demonstrate some of the equipment and software you use. And be sure to plan a healthy lunch.

Hire a teenager

Summer jobs for teens are in short supply. Take just a few minutes to make phone calls, and you'll probably come up with several promising youths eager for a chance to learn and earn. You may have a short-term project you've been putting off - entering names and contact information into a new database, for example - that a young person could complete in a few weeks of part-time work. If so, this would be a win-win for your company and the teenager involved.

Pay attention to merchants' children

While on your sales rounds, you may notice that some of your mom-and-pop merchant customers are bringing their children to work during the summer months. You've probably got plenty of giveaways - pens, notepads, paperclip holders, flash drives, etc. - leftover from tradeshows that you could offer to these children.

And for a trusted, long-time merchant customer, you could offer to take a teenage son or daughter on a nearby sales call or two. These young people might be running their parents' shops one day, and they will remember the attention you show them now.

Donate your time

See what programs are available for local children and volunteer your time. You might be able to make the difference between an eager child learning to swim or learning to draw as opposed to having no enrichment whatsoever over the summer. Or, if you're good at math or language arts, become a tutor for children who need help so they don't fall behind in basic skills during the break from school.

Raise funds

You could also donate a percentage of your August residuals to a local children's organization, host a neighborhood carnival - perhaps in conjunction with some of your merchant customers - or plan a poker tournament to raise funds for a worthy children's organization. You'll brighten the outlook for local youths while also raising awareness of your company's commitment to the community.

Enjoy the season

These are just some of the possible ways you can help improve the lives of children in your sphere of influence. You've probably thought of others. Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll find your endeavors will benefit your community, but they will benefit you just as much, if not more. end of article

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