Denver business owner Patrick Dahnert knows first hand the benefits of volunteering. Patrick is one of the owners of Essex Financial Services LLC in Denver and was thankful to be introduced to Extreme Community Makeover. To increase company morale and move their company towards a more positive and uplifting company culture, Patrick and his business partner, Jeff Riggs, decided to start a Charity Committee to give back to the local community. In searching for an organization to partner with, they had three prerequisites:
1) Local to Denver
2) A modest amount of money is impactful
3) We invest time, not just money
Fortunately, Extreme Community Makeover fit the bill and the company signed up for their first Work Day.
“I was hooked on volunteering after the first project we had with ECM,” says Patrick. The employees helped to paint a house and the experience changed their lives. The team not only painted the home, but they also developed an ongoing relationship with Terry, the homeowner.
Although they immediately knew that Terry was a wonderful person with nothing to hide, some of the team members thought it strange that when they needed to use the restroom that day, they had to walk to a nearby McDonald’s. Terry didn’t feel comfortable having people in her house. In the spirit of ECM two of the team members, Lisa and Pam, cultivated a relationship with Terry. After bringing gifts and having several phone conversations with her, Lisa and Pam were invited inside her home. They immediately knew that painting the exterior of the home was not the only thing that Terry needed. There were some home hazards and vital work needed in both her kitchen and bathroom.
Again, in the spirit of ECM, Pam and Lisa took action by utilizing their network of local resource providers to provide additional help. It took time, motivation, and persistence from both of the ladies to get contractors out on the job. Their persistence paid off and the finished result was amazing.
Lisa enthusiastically remembers her experience, “It was a very positive experience for everyone involved. This formed into a friendship and further aid was provided to make her home more livable. It was wonderful to see this experience change a life for the better. It brought her out into the community and she is now going back to school and will eventually find a job in her field. It is wonderful to see what ECM inspires!” The relationship between the ladies is still strong today and will likely last a lifetime.
Patrick is now a Board Member for ECM and also works on the Projects Team, through the Extreme Teams. He strongly believes in what Extreme Community Makeover stands for and loves seeing communities and lives changed. “Doing a Work Day with ECM is a great opportunity to get employees out of the office and give them some real hands on experience. It also builds team camaraderie knowing you are all working for a good cause,” explains Patrick. He’s thrilled to see how a true friendship has formed between the homeowner and his employees. Both parties have been forever changed. ECM is truly building relationships, cultivating community and changing lives, one block at a time.
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