Every year, we close all of our offices for a day and work at non-profits in one or more of the communities we serve. This year, we chose to work at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, which had been battered by winds and tide during Hurricane Irene. Over 50 of us went with rakes, paintbrushes, chain saws, and leaf blowers to clean up debris, repaint furniture, wash windows, and remove wet leaves from the bottom of the swimming pool, as well as to work indoors on materials for Hospice's big annual service for families in late September. We estimate that we worked about 250 man (person) hours, and did the work that contractors had bid large amounts to complete. We astounded the maintenance staff at Hospice, who were skeptical about the work ethic and expertise of a group of volunteers, and we once again proved that we put our muscle where our mouth is.
By the end of the day, eating pizza on the patio and looking out over what we had accomplished, there was a wonderful feeling that comes from honest work and tired bodies, combined with the knowledge that we had made other peoples' lives a little bit better. Thanks to all who participated, most of whom don't get paid and do it out completely out of the kindness of their hearts, and thanks to Hospice, which welcomed us and worked alongside us to meet our goals. It's one of our favorite days of the Pearce year, and one that we will look forward to again next September.