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It's A Given Sure, charities and nonprofits benefit from employee volunteer programs, but what about your business?

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For office manager Joan Baron of Alternate Access Inc., acomputer-telephony company based in Raleigh, North Carolina, theworkday is full of little details. But what makes her day evenbusier is her volunteer work for Project Tanzania, a groupsearching for solutions to the poverty and famine problems inAfrica. Baron occasionally makes time for her volunteer work whileon the job, sometimes sending a few e-mails and faxes from theoffice on behalf of the organization, or taking a few hours awayfrom the office to help out. "[Volunteering] is a part of whoI am," she says.

It's also a big part of who Alternate Access' owners,Kelly and Adrienne Lumpkin, are. Throughout the com-pany's7-year history, community service has offered a welcome diversionfrom building the company. Adrienne is active in JuniorAchievement, and the couple even met while volunteering for acollege MBA organization.

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