The Chance To Be Part of Something Bigger
Humble, grateful, happy, human, and part of something bigger. When thinking about great sales people, these descriptions may not always be top of mind. But these are exactly the feelings witnessed on a recent awards trip recognizing our best originators and leaders.
In early April, Service First rewarded its top sales performers and their guests with a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The reward was well deserved, in many cases the culmination of a year of hard work, long hours, dedication and talent.
The setting was a beautiful 5-star resort with outstanding amenities and service, surrounded by a soft sand beach, the vast blue ocean waters and 80 degree temperatures with sunny skies every day.
Typically on these types of trips there’s some relaxation, a little business, and a lot of fun. What’s not always typical is time spent giving back to the local community. But at Service First, part of our Vision includes the belief in “building stronger communities”. So much so that we’ve created a group within the company called Service First Cares, a committee dedicated to supporting and giving back to the communities in which we live and work. The commitment to this vision does not stop, even when visiting the tropics. In fact, it has become tradition that Service First leads a community service project during every President’s Club trip.
On a warm, sunny day in Punta Cana the Service First team, all dressed in red Service First Cares shirts, welcomed a local boys Orphanage to the beach. El Mundo Mejor (A Better World) Orphanage helps local boys in need of food, shelter and love that have been abandoned or mistreated. Run by Maritza German de Leon and caregivers Carlos & Ernestina Espiritusantos, El Mundo Mejor houses about 25 boys between the ages of 6 – 18.
The day started in a ballroom with introductions by the boys and the Service First team. Spanish speaking team leaders were chosen and the process of dividing into teams commenced. The first activity involved using non-perishable food items to create works of art that portrayed imagery synonymous with the Dominican Republic. An entire truckload of items were donated by Service First for this fun activity. With some help from the Service First team the kids planned, arranged, cut, decorated, and ultimately built 3 fun pieces of art: a Palm Tree, a Turtle and a Lighthouse (symbolizing the guiding light provided by Maritza and her team). The Palm Tree took the blue ribbon despite the sun in the piece being re-built at least a dozen times because everyone had their own idea of what it should look like.
Next, the big group took a walk to the ocean, where heads turned as 60+ adults in red shirts and a group of local boys seemed to take over the beach. With painstaking detail, six sand castles were built along the ocean. First prize was a tie between a starfish (the symbol of the resort) and a basketball court (which the older boys were very invested in). Although the sand castle building was an amazing experience, it was obvious that the ocean was the highlight for the boys. They all took great pleasure jumping, splashing, wrestling, swimming, and playing in the water.
After sand castle building, everyone ate lunch in a palm covered pavilion on the beach. The shade, breeze, and ocean views greatly enhanced the experience. The menu for the day was an all you can eat buffet, including ice cream. One of the younger boys, Freddy, had 3 ice cream cones before Maritza suggested he might want to slow down. Conversations were had, good food was shared and a Frisbee was tossed around.
To bring an end to the half-day event, we took a walk back to the ballroom. A few words were spoken and translated, and gifts were given. Each boy was brought to the front of the room to receive his backpack full of school supplies, hygiene products, clothing, shoes, a soccer ball, a football, toys, board games, sunglasses, sandals and more. A truck was loaded with food and other items secured from donations by the Service First team. Additional items were exchanged: clothes for the orphanage leaders, the shirt off the back of one Service First team member, and a wristband that read “God is big”.
One of the oldest boys at the orphanage, Yefry, took it upon himself to act as spokesperson for the group and thanked everyone for the experience. What he may not have realized was that this group of boys provided more for the Service First team than the Service First team could ever provide to the boys…the ability to take a group of highly competitive, driven, successful people and make them feel humble, grateful, happy, human and part of something bigger.
-Ian Kimball, Director of Sales Development - Service First Mortgage
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