Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Volunteer of the Month: Jeff Berry

Jeff Berry (Center) pictured on the Sounders Rebuilding Day

Choosing this month's outstanding volunteer was an easy choice for the RTS office. The honor goes to Jeff Berry from Wilcox Construction for his exceptional leadership and hard work as the Project Leader for the Sounders Rebuilding Day! Jeff was chosen to manage the Sounders Rebuilding Day, which took place at the end of June, after playing an instrumental role as a volunteer in an RTS project the year prior. Thanks to Jeff's thoughtful planning, the big day went off without a hitch at United Friends Group Homes for residents with developmental disabilities.

Rick Massey (Program Director, United Friends Group Homes) shared this story about the fruits of Jeff's hard work: 

"We are more than happy with everything. As an example of how much everybody enjoys the improvements…picture this: Tracy arrived back from her Hawaii trip late one night but couldn’t sleep. I happened to be covering an overnight shift so I witnessed the whole thing…she opened one of the cabinets and when it closed tightly, she squealed just a little bit. She then had to test out each cabinet; after each one closed tightly, she said “Wow!” By the last cabinet, she was clapping and laughing."  

Now, let's hear from Jeff!

1. How did you get involved with RTS?

The owner of my company, Matt Lessard of Wilcox Construction, has the biggest heart and is always willing to help out whenever he can. He sent out an invitation last year asking for volunteers to participate in the annual rebuild event and I gladly signed up. The project was a big success due to the leadership of Jim Broadlick and I was very happy to take a supporting role. Apparently, the Wilcox volunteers did such a good job we were asked to lead the Sounders Rebuilding Day this year.

2. What do you enjoy most about working with our organization?

RTS is very passionate about helping those in need and I am equally as passionate about construction, so it seems like a perfect fit to me. The people I worked with at RTS were great at keeping me focused on my construction tasks while they led the overall event. It would've been very easy for RTS to micro-manage this project but they let me do what I do best and that is run the construction process. The staff at RTS exhibits an incredible positive nature that is truly a joy to work with.

3. What do other volunteers say about RTS?

The volunteers I worked with were equally as impressed by RTS as I was. We were given the freedom to tackle the tasks at hand and never felt like we weren't doing enough. RTS was very supportive of everyone's efforts and I believe we will have many returning volunteers next year.

4. Why do they want to volunteer their time?

Life is too short to not help out. Everyone's lives are so busy that we often forget about the people who can use our help. I realize I work with a bunch of construction workers but secretly we all get a sense a joy from helping others and seeing the smiles on their faces. I think too many people have forgotten about warm fuzzies. Please do not share this with anyone but I think the volunteers I worked with kinda cherish warm fuzzies too.

5. What about RTS' mission are you most drawn to?

As a person in the construction industry I have always valued my job of creating spaces for people to live and work in. Some spaces were often a bit nicer than others as money can buy certain amenities. And this is where RTS' mission comes into play. Everyone deserves a chance to live in a home with warmth, safety and independence. Sometimes these very basic necessitates are overlooked and this where RTS' financial support comes in. RTS helps us all focus on what is truly important....and EVERYONE is important.

  Thank you Jeff for your high energy, can-do attitude, and keen sense of humor!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a story!! Congratulations, Jeff; your accomplishments are only exceeded by your attitude and generosity! Warm fuzzies indeed--you deserve a carpenter's apron full of them (that's how they're dispensed, right?) Katie and I are not a bit surprised; you've made us proud to know you. Keep up the great work!