Volunteering is a gift that benefits the giver just as much as the recipient. Those who dedicate themselves to volunteering know the intrinsic satisfaction it provides, but the organizations who utilize volunteers are always looking for ways to thank their volunteers.
Elmsford-based business Thank You for Caring saw an opportunity there: provide a way for organizations to reward their valued volunteers and involve local business owners.
Owner John Higgins described that opportunity gap. "Businesses say 'let's do something nice for our volunteers," said Higgins. "But how do they prove who their volunteers are."
Thank You for Caring provides discount cards to area non-profit organizations that are then distributed to their volunteers. In turn, those volunteers can use the cards to redeem discounts at local businesses and restaurants.
Businesses like DeCiccio's Market- which has 8 locations- offers a 5 percent discount each Tuesday exclusively at its Pelham location for volunteer cardholders.
Since July, Higgins says volunteers can also use their card to receive a 20 percent discount at local restaurants like Villa Nova E., 6 1st Street, Pelham and Posto 22, 22 Division Street, New Rochelle.
So far, the restaurant appreciation night is still under the radar for many volunteers.
Posto 22 restaurant manager Nick Mancini said the restaurant does display signage letting patrons know about the Wednesday night discount, but he hasn't seen a groundswell of redemptions.
"Maybe people still don't know about it yet," said Mancini. He said Posto 22 has only honored a couple of the volunteer appreciation discounts so far.
But the offer is just months old, and still growing. Higgins said more than 35 restaurants across Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties as well as Fairfield County, CT are participating in the Volunteer Appreciation. Check the list here.
Higgins said a portion of the discount proceeds are donated to organizations like the White Plains-based Volunteer Center of United Way, as well as the Alzheimer Society and the Red Cross Society.
Pelham restaurant Villa Nova E. is open Tuesday - Thursday and on Sunday, noon - 10 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, noon - 11 p.m.
New Rochelle restaurant Posto 22 is open daily and serves "classic Italian" cuisine.
(Ed. note- An earlier version has been corrected to note John Higgins is owner of Thank You for Caring. Also please note the Pelham location of DeCiccio is the only location offering the Tuesday 5 percent Volunteer Appreciation discount.)