Prosocial Behavior In Hocking Hills

PA140014Positive psychologists talk a lot about the merits of engaging businesses in “prosocial” behavior. Wharton professor Adam Grant, for example, believes that when employees believe what they are making a difference for others, they are motivated to work harder and more creatively.
Usually, big examples come to mind. Starbucks contributing a few cents from each bottle of its Ethos water to aid water purification projects. Or the Pepsi Refresh project, contributing its SuperBowl advertising budget to fund prosocial projects of others.
I didn’t expect to bump into a prosocial project at a four-employee enterprise in Ohio’s Hocking Hills. But in Logan, Ohio, the Columbus Washboard Company has undertaken its own brand of altruism. Since 2004, it’s collected donations to send 4,000 Washboard Troop Kits to soldiers. The kits, packed in a washtub, include a washboard, clothesline, clothespins, soap and foot powder, all for a $25 donation. Pictured here is Lisa, who not only assembles the washboards by hand, one at a time, but also leads tours.
Does making a difference at work make a difference to her? One word sums up her response to that question.
“Absolutely.”

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