How will you leave the world a better place? Many of us have an unsettled feeling deep inside that we’re not doing enough. A nagging feeling that our 9-5 trudge to work and back to the couch isn’t making a lasting difference in the world. Maybe we flirt with dropping everything and flying to a service project in Nicaragua or Sudan. Somewhere we can lay our heads each night, confident we’re making a lasting impact on our planet.
Brett Weigl was surrounded by colleagues who set off for short-term service trips in far-away lands. A twinge of jealousy pulsed throughout his body. And while his company compensated employees for volunteering, the weight of being a good father to his 6-year-old son trumped adventure.
A brown bag and a quest for greater meaning
As a Product Manager for Salesforce, Brett was indifferently participating in company-sponsored volunteer events:
“If you’re in the headquarters office, they kind of bring volunteer opportunities to you. Recently it was, ‘we’re going to pack lunches for children today.’ But all you’re really doing is buying the food and putting it in a bag. It does do something good and gives you extra volunteer hours, but there wasn’t very much meaning for me.”
Brett was looking to make a more meaningful difference in his local community. And that desire was likely planted at an early age. He paused as he reflected about his mom:
“She knew every day she was making a difference. There was a service in New Jersey where I grew up called Contact. Someone might be older or live alone. And often they have no real connections or family. Nobody calls them on a regular basis – they might not know that other people exist. So that’s just what my mom did. She would call each person and see how they were. It was the personal connection but also the social work aspect.”
An organization with a mission curiously similar to his mother’s
And with a curious twist of fate, Brett’s co-worker asked if he might be interested in helping a non-profit called Maybelle Center customize their Salesforce system. His interest was piqued. He could use what he knew – his technical expertise in Salesforce – as a service to others locally.
And since last April, Brett has spent at least a day a month at the Maybelle Center. He has transformed our data system from a “do-it-yourself” project into a “hot-rod” system. We can now see year-over-year growth and year-to-date program measures to assure we’re on target towards our goals. And that means we can now show the full impact of our work to donors.
And even more importantly, Jacob Engstrom, our Support Services Coordinator, says:
“The biggest gain of the system has been much more effective service delivery. We can more accurately track what we’re doing. Now every single touch we make in a member’s life shows up in Salesforce as a case. We can now look broadly across our organizations’ contact with a person and know the impact Maybelle Center is having on an individual’s life.”
We are so happy that Brett knew that making a meaningful difference doesn’t just happen in far off lands. And you don’t have to wait until the kids are all grown. It happens right here, in our backyards. Ordinary people, doing amazing work – partnering to build connection and community. Thank you, Brett.