When companies invest in their community, we'd like to believe that the community will invest in them. Here at ISI, we value what it means to give back. A positive work culture is like a plant that needs constant watering and is always earned, not implimented; by giving our employees some time to give back in the ways that they love, we hope it will be the water to further grow themselves and ISI's culture. Some of our employees currently volunteer outside of work, but we decided to give everyone 8 paid work hours out of the year to give. Here are some ways in which our team has used our collective 400 community hours and our own personal time:
Meet Vic - a man who doesn't stop. Seventy years young and passionate about Scuba and his grandchildren, Vic has decided to use his expertise in maintenece to repair light fixtures throughout his grandchildren's school. He repairs, replaces, and does anything electircal they may need. When asked what drove him there, he simply responded, "There was a need and I said, 'I can help you'." Through his volunteer time, he's also figured out how to save the school thousands in light repairs, replacements, and maintence. He's since suggested using LED lights that burn much slower, longer, and require no upkeep, as opposed to the traditional fluorescent lights. Having already called a friend to get a quote for transforming the school to LED, he says he doesn't care if he has to do it on the weekends or in the morning before work because all schools need help. The school has been illuminated tenfold since Vic walked in its doors - a presence that is still growing.
Meet Joey - a soft spoken man with a great smile and kind demeanor. Joey's uncle is a firefighter and his boys clearly excited about everything firefighter related. On a hot summer morning, he and his two boys showed up at Fire Station 29 off Elvis Presley Boulevard ready to serve. After helping make breakfast for everyone and getting to know all in the station, he and the boys cleaned, washed the firetrucks, and even learned how to use some of their equipment. Among their favorite things was using the fire hose and taking a ride in the fire truck. "We were just thrilled to be there," says Joey.
Meet Lambo - a man who chooses to make the ones around him smile. Involved in his church, he became a summer camp counselor. Having gone to the same camp as a kid himself, Lambo felt the need to serve there. He facilitated activities, but says it was more than that. Being the only male counselor, he and the boys talked about music, life, Fortnite, and Christ. He says, "It was a coaching and teaching moment for me and the kids." He finds the value in it as a way for the kids to get away to a place where they feel comfortable and not judged.
Meet Dwight - a Kentucky native with two children and a wife named Cynthia, with whom they'll share their 26th anniversary this September. Focused on speding spare time serving Boy Scouts and on church mission activities, Dwight used four of his hours participating in a golf scramble at his church. During the scramble, $40,000 was raised in donations to help fund "Love in Deed," a day of service in which volunteers choose one or more of several opportunities to support. One of the events is Rise Against Hunger, in which 500 volunteers will pack over 100,000 meals in just a few hours. Dwight says, "I am thankful ISI provides a way we can have fun and help others who are less fortunate."
Meet Michael - a man with integrity and love for his kids, whose lunchboxes often make an appearance attached to his backpack. His volunteer time is spent with his son in Boy Scouts. An assistant scout master with mutliple certificates such as watercraft safety and safety afloat, he helps train scouts so that they may earn badges, among other initatives. He believes being part of this with his son instills responsibility, the ability to overcome challenges, and he values the troop-led leadership capabilities taught at a young age. Further, he says seeing our CEO being an Eagle Scout, business owner, and earning respect shows that this experience can be significant for his son and the whole troop.
Among others, we're giving our time to donate blood for trauma and cancer patients, parent-teacher nights, community gardening and devlopment, and more. We aren't perfect by any means, but we value the notion that action not only speaks, but can help solve problems more directly.
It doesn't take much to pay it forward and change a community. We urge other employers to invest in their employee's community involvment. It's clear connections are made, family and friends involved, and once you seek a place to serve... most likely there's a need closer to home than you may think.