Gadi Solomon is making a difference in his community both inside and outside of the office.
Learn more about his social impact and dedicated volunteering activities in this insightful interview.
What brought you to volunteering?
"My daughter loves dogs very much, and my wife has asthma of the skin, so we would go on Saturdays for dogs adoption days, and we connected with the association. Then I brought them to my neighborhood for an adoption project."
In what way does volunteerism affect your day-to-day work?
"I work at the Borsa in Ramat Gan, and it's the center of my life. I'm a bit involved in community affairs, and I aspire to take the issue of corporate responsibility on myself. My goal is to anchor volunteering here within the organization, recruit people, and create a commitment around the matter both organizationally and personally.
I am a business person. I volunteer in a field completely unrelated to what I do for a living. People know I'm socially involved, and the main goal is to leverage that to an operational position, make volunteering part of the organization's DNA. Through the Vee platform, you can educate an audience to volunteer and use these tools. More so if it's an organization with a lag in volunteer awareness."
Why it's important to volunteer as part of a company?
"By assigning employees to volunteer, companies optimize their efficiency. It has economic effects. As a volunteer, I serve instead of a therapist who costs 400 NIS per hour. How much does this save society?
We need to educate people about the social and economic importance of volunteering and how much it can contribute to society.
At the level of institutional organizations and the civic level, we need to educate people about the social and economic significance that volunteering has and how much it can contribute to society."
Why did you decide to volunteer at the place where you volunteer?
"Happiness metrics speak of volunteering and athletic activity as something that accelerates and maintains fitness.
It becomes an anchor, some real and sincere need to do it. I exaggerate and say I don't see my life without it. The third-largest country in the world is the volunteer country. There are over a billion volunteers around the globe. And its social and economic impacts are profound. If I take an at-risk teen and help him find a job, he get out of the streets, stop using drugs, start working and paying taxes, enlist in the army, and build a family - it has a social impact. From both the holistic and the socio-economic aspects, I see it really as a mission. I can't see my life without it."
Have you had a previous experience?
"No. I would not say that it has gained momentum in the recent five years and got more volume in the last three years on a daily or weekly basis. As part of my routine, in an intense and committed way."
How does regular volunteering look like?
"At Hashomer Hahadash, you assist farmers and ranchers, work on the field and do everything from harvesting to planting to tillage and soil leveling, working with animals and farms. I try to take my children at the expense of school at least once a week to volunteer. It's important tuition. Learning things that are not always taught in school."
What motivates you to do so much?
"The results. The very fact that you are invested, you accompany a teenager, and you are committed to him. The commitment here is genuine both to the process and to him. Despite the difficulty, this commitment requires real presence. When you are educated in an association like Elem, where volunteering with youth is significant, you get - like an elite unit - real tools of what volunteering is and what it takes to succeed. The fact that you are so invested in these processes connects you to volunteering more and more."
What are the challenges of being a volunteer?
"I do not bring a difficulty to the matter. Sometimes, there is a matter of attrition, or the team you work with is not with the same intensity as you. A criticism can float at times, but I come with one goal - to serve a vocation. All the politics and criticism I save for another time. If the boys need me, I am there for them."
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
"Volunteering gives you a lot of confidence, and it complements you. It becomes a part of you, and you are proud of it. You talk about it. It shapes you and strengthens you. And that is perhaps the best answer to why it is so positive for a person's personality. I come from a competitive business environment. There is something about connecting with social workers, community managers, people who stand behind the scenes and deal with the hardship of life, and relating to more vulnerable populations instead of only identifying with the rich and successful people."
What did you learn about yourself as a volunteer?
"I became more conservative, more protective of my family. It taught me to stick to the process, not to let go, to progress to perfection and complete holism. If I'm a little procrastinating in life, here I'm not giving up on myself. It made me more committed, and here you can't fake it. It's like building a good relationship or business."
Tell about a special event that happened while volunteering.
"I got to accompany some at-risk youth to the Recruitment Bureau. Suddenly from where they came from, to see them wearing uniforms, about to serve in the army where they would get the framework to accompany and strengthen them... Boys who came from a certain point and going to be fighters, it's an amazing process. One of the greatest excitement I had in life."