DOBSON — Surry Community College Introduction to Business students are being taught the beginning of social responsibility for any company begins with individual effort. Instructor Dawn Worley said she routinely begins the class by asking students to not only decide on a location for a business but decide what it will do to be socially responsible.
“We discussed the millions of dollars of revenue businesses give to charity,” recalled Worley. “In previous years we participated in a home build for Habitat for Humanity. I offer the students an opportunity to help out and then they must decide. This class felt very strongly about Brenner Children’s Hospital.”
Worley said she contacted Cindy Mahan, who is a child life specialist and manager of the Child Life Department at Brenner’s. Mahan provided a list of items in short supply at the hospital. Once Worley’s students saw the listing they decided helping provide cartoon character Band-Aids was something they could do.
Mahan indicated child life specialists are experts in child development who promote effective coping through play, preparation, education and self-expression. They also provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings and other family members about the needs of children under stress.
Mahan said the Brenner’s Child Life Department provides services to the inpatient units, the Emergency Department and the Operating Room. She said the department has several special programs including Pet Therapy, Beads of Courage and special events such as the Hematology and Oncology Prom.
According to Worley, the class donated 74 boxes of the character bandages. She said she was especially proud of the class because it was a small group with a little more than 15 students. She said the students chose to donate the bandages because they would provide immediate benefit for the patients because the cartoon characters would bring a smile. The boxes of Band-Aids arrived at the hospital on March 18.
“The class received a thank-you note on behalf of the patients confirming they were excited to get them and it made a difference for the children,” said Worley, who added budget restrictions play a part in the hospital not being able to order the special bandages and the facility depends on donations for small items.
“They (her students) were really fired up about this,” said Worley. “It was wonderful. Social responsibility begins with individuals and their combined efforts make something great.” She said that the working environment today has changed with larger corporations publishing their social responsibility projects. Often these reports are demanded by stockholders. She said local business franchises also are placing a high value on giving back to communities.
Worley said one value being stressed by this movement, which was led by companies such as Microsoft, is human resources are the driving force behind a business and they are the most important aspect of a firm’s future.
“We saw what an individual can do and what collective effort can do,” said Worley. “We really stress teamwork in the classroom. There are valuable lifelong lessons from this. We are huge on accountability to group as well as individual responsibility. We feel strongly our students need to develop communication skills.”
She said many students interest in business are fueled by using entrepreneurship as a way to become their own boss. Students quickly grasp how important it is to be prepared to manage employees. Worley said students benefit from giving without expecting anything in return.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.