How many DEGeniuses does it take to paint a whole house in a day? Turns out it’s 17 people, along with at least a dozen ladders, more than 20 paintbrushes, and 30 gallons of charcoal-colored paint.
Our Habitat service day brings a variety of employees together who don’t always get to work together.
For the third straight year, DEG participated in a Habitat for Humanity build day on Saturday, May 21. A group of DEG employees met at a house in Kansas City, Kan., that Heartland Habitat for Humanity built about eight years ago but the family had vacated. The DEG group stepped in to help revamp the house for its next family.
DEG associates mainly tackled painting the exterior, with some of us being on tall extension ladders to get the peaks, others on stepladders to get the middle levels, and the rest of us – usually those afraid of heights – painted the lowest part of the walls and the foundation. I was in that last group.
We painted with brushes, not rollers, which provided better coverage, and did two coats across the whole house. Also helping paint was a homeowner in the Habitat program who was earning her required hours to move into her own new home, just a few blocks away. DEG associates also ripped up all the carpet and padding inside the house and did a few more cleanup items inside and trimmed trees outside. We also caulked any gaps between siding on the exterior before completing the painting.
Basically, it had nothing in common with what we do on a daily basis at DEG, but it was just as rewarding. Every year, DEGers give tens of thousands of dollars and hours for worthy causes – whether it’s helping grant a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation or buying presents for kids at Christmas – so that we can be a positive impact in the community. But it also gives us a chance to grow and bond as a company.
This is my third year helping organize this day of service for DEG, and it’s one of my favorite events throughout the year. DEG associates take time out of their busy weekends, usually during the summertime, to come together to help other people.
Giving back allows you to experience your coworkers in a new way while accomplishing something worthwhile.
DEG is a place with a small-company feel despite employing 200, but it’s hard to work with every single person at any given point. Our Habitat service day, like many of our other charitable activities, brings a wide variety of employees together who don’t always work on the same projects. Saturday’s event had representatives from engineering, CRM, enterprise collaboration, email, and many other departments. Because we’re all outside all day working together, we get to have conversations we might not get to have at work, and also get the chance to do some good.
And we’re all in it together to help out another family in the metro area we call home. We’re lucky enough to get to work with a homeowner in the program almost every year. We get to hear their life stories and meet someone we otherwise might not have. We all have busy lives, balancing work and family, but I would encourage everyone to grab a group of coworkers and find an event to give back to something that is special to you. It will give you a chance to experience your coworkers in a new way and make you feel good about accomplishing something worthwhile.