Serving our Neighbors is the third in a series of five short stories written to honor the compassion and commitment of Pinnacle team members who went to extraordinary lengths to help their communities, residents or each other. The following was recently showcased at the 2018 Pinnacle Annual Leadership Conference in Charleston, SC.
It was Wednesday afternoon on a summer day in Vail, Colorado when hundreds of Pinnacle team members gathered in a hotel lobby wearing branded t-shirts and closed toe shoes. The sun was shining and everyone was instructed to line up outside. Each person had only a slight understanding of where they were going next but trusted a hired bus driver to get them there. Twenty busses in all drove a different course towards a highly anticipated mission.
A few years back, it became an annual rite to engage with local organizations during the leadership conference. This was the company’s third year to make an impact in such a manner so there was a hint of how this day would turn out.
After a scenic drive, some were surprisingly dropped on a mountainside to swing rock picks over the next several hours. Their hard work helped to build a bike trail. Others were taken to locations where low-income kids always feel hunger. Empathy was the key directive there. One bus drove to the public library where shelves had to be restocked and another went to a home that needed painting — equally important missions with differing objectives. There were many other pre-determined assignments and the unveiling was half the experience.
Team members were given an opportunity to reshape a community that afternoon. This was a key ingredient to their memorable day. Fast forward three months and Pinnacle was at it again, on an even grander scale.
In the fall of 2017, 15 different offices from coast to coast organized week-long efforts within their own communities. The season was different — the t-shirts were too – but the end result was the same. Activities were planned to increase the quality of life for total strangers. Most chose to work in food banks or pantries, but where and how they volunteered is not really the point. Pinnacle’s core value simply calls us to serve. So do our hearts.
As a company, we have never found it necessary to research if one need is greater than another. Providing shelter certainly tops the list of important things in life, but so do diapers when there is a baby in the house. Food is dire, but so are glasses to the person who can’t see anything without them.
In all, Pinnacle worked on behalf of 79 different organizations last year, all with different needs. Some were assisted during Community Service Week, but others were served on a regular basis, month after month. Our only goal was to help others.
Pinnacle started gathering notes and statistics from varying community service activities and found that our contributions totaled $86,000 in money raised and 1,800 hours in time spent volunteering last year. This was only what we could tabulate. There is more undocumented work we have done but again, that is not the point. Each time we helped someone, we were inspired. And then we couldn’t wait until our next act of service.