Yesterday, my company, or rather the company that I work for, had their annual Christmas Service where we do some form of beautification for a non-profit organization or for the disadvantaged. This year was an outdoor beautification project for the KIPP school that helps disadvantaged children receive the education they need to succeed and get into college. In addition, the schools try to provide the children with skills to succeed in college and life.
There were 11 teams doing various beautification projects around the school campus. I was involved in the tree planting which entails digging holes, placing the tree shoots in the holes, and then covering them with dirt and mulch. Needless to say, I’m pretty pathetic at this, being an indoors person, but I did try to help shovel the dirt. The agenda was to do the beautification project from 8:30 am to noon but when I looked at what we had to do, I was kind of dubious that our team would finish by noon. We were mostly girls, but these girls were STRONG girls. With the addition of our strong male team lead, we actually managed to be done by noon. We also had an eighth grader join us in the planting of tree shoots, which was nice.
Speaking of kids, these kids seem like well-adjusted kids and some were very outgoing. They came up to us to say hello and talk to us. I was kind of surprised at how comfortable they were in talking to us adults.
When we were mostly done with the beautification, the kids gave a singing and dancing performance. It was cute to watch them.
In the evening, we had a Christmas party and I was happy to find out that everybody was just as tired as I was from the morning service (nothing like shared misery, or rather, shared tiredness). It’s just a relief to know that it is not just me who can be tired out by such work.
I got lucky in joining up with a company that does such good works every year. It is a privately held company so they have much greater latitude to do such stuff and it is small enough to engage most of the corporate office. I don’t think a shareholder driven company would do this kind of thing – there is no shareholder value in having employees be out for a day to perform social work. (Although I suspect this may be changing, if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly.)