Once a month, Dave Dorsey leaves his job as an account executive at the SAS Institute in Cary, NC, where he markets computer programs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, to handle a decidedly nonglamorous chore. For several hours, he hand-washes dirty meal trays used by homeless people visiting the Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen in Raleigh. Although the unpaid work brings scant recognition, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native feels good about it. One reason is that it relieves others from a time-consuming but necessary duty and thereby makes their own work a little easier. "Another is that SAS, which creates business intelligence software, gives us time off and actively encourages us to do community service," Dorsey says. "This shows that it cares about both us and the community...

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