Do Good Bus Connects Communities through Volunteerism
Mar 31, 2022
Insufficient social connection is a more significant risk factor for someone’s health than smoking cigarettes. And the number of people who report loneliness and social isolation is at an all-time high. One organization doing great work building connections and creating community is Do Good Bus. “We are social beings,” explains Merlin Clarke, Director of Do Good Bus. “When we come together with purpose, we see improvements in mental health and well-being.”
Do Good Bus offers several programs:
Do Good Bus Rides is a one-day volunteer program that incorporates team building and community service. Both companies and community members can participate in Do Good Bus Rides.
Do Good Bus Talks brings a thought leader to speak on a topic that shifts into collaborative conversations about big ideas like racial justice, climate reality, and mental health.
Do Good Bus Plus provides longer-term, deeper impact volunteer opportunities in communities. These projects might establish a community garden or build a playground in a low-income neighborhood.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Merlin looked at Do Good Bus and how he could adapt the organization to meet the needs of the emerging future. “The pandemic reinforced that improving mental health in our community is critical, particularly for young adults,” reflects Merlin. “It reinforced how important it is to take action, have discussions, and build community.”
At this time of cultural disconnection, Do Good Bus’s work reminds us that we’re better together. “Change happens through collective consciousness,” says Merlin. “Whether through Do Good Bus or other communities you engage with, we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Building social connection through collaboration
Do Good Bus was founded in 2011 by Rebecca Reader, and Merlin was originally introduced to the organization as a participant. Merlin and his wife own Dogeared, a jewelry business and certified B Corp since 2011, and their company has participated in Do Good Rides since the early days of the organization. Merlin became Director of Do Good Bus in 2018. “After being in the jewelry business for 30 years, I was looking for something new. Working for Do Good Bus has allowed me to live my dream of connecting people and being purposeful,” Merlin explains.
“It makes sense for Do Good Bus, Dogeared, and Beneficial State Bank to work together because we are values-aligned,” says Merlin. “I’m grateful for the relationship my wife and I and our businesses have with Manny Barragan and Beneficial State Bank,” says Merlin. “We came to Beneficial State after looking for a bank that would be a good steward of our business and personal money. Learning that Beneficial State Bank was a B Corp showed me the bank was honoring their commitments to the community and the planet.”
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