On a cold, wet Wednesday afternoon, more than 100 men from Chicagoland, Canada, and Germany built bicycles for children in north Tarrant County, Texas.
The men, sales and engineering staff from GEA Farm Technologies, were conferencing at the Embassy Suites in Grapevine. GEA manufactures equipment for milk production and livestock farming worldwide
As a team-building icebreaker, the men were divided into teams and points were awarded for assembling the bicycles, helmets, and locks quickly and correctly. Special extra points were assigned for participating in a bicycle slalom race following the build. The catch: the longest time was the winner.
The efforts of the guys at GEA resulted in 9 boys’ and 9 girls’ bicycles, helmets, and locks for parents to choose in the next GRACE Christmas Cottage. In addition, all finished with the good feeling of doing something for a community a continent or more away from their homes.
It is hoped the attendees will return home and seek out local organizations like GRACE. With this experience, they can bring this level of fun, excitement, and service to bear on needs in their own communities.
GRACE is blessed to have many convention center hotels in the area. Just to name a few, the Gaylord Texan, Hilton DFW Lakes, and Embassy Suites, where the GEA conference was held. Groups staying at these convention centers regularly reach out to GRACE with events like this bike-build, canned food drives, or other events devised by planners to bring their attendees together.
The value of team-building, camaraderie, competition, and cooperative fun is unsurpassed. But you need not leave home to take advantage of the experiences.
GRACE is often approached by local companies, who may have started with GRACE by volunteering at GRACE Donation Station or the shopping centers, asking for specialized projects. Many times the type of project is determined by the experience and skill levels of the volunteer group; any budget the group may bring; and the time anticipated for the project to complete.
Our Community Outreach staff will sit down with company representatives and learn what they would like to achieve: team building, leadership skills development, outside-of-the-box thinking, or simply getting staff out of their comfort zones and have fun for an afternoon.
With this information, Volunteer Manager Alicia Fike and her team will follow-up with a list of suggested projects, and set time and expense expectations.
Alicia has recently gathered a listing of projects included on the GRACE website under Get Involved. Of course, projects to help GRACE are not limited to corporate groups. GRACE has been blessed with many church groups, youth groups, families, Eagle Scout and Gold Award candidates, and others who have come forward.
For more information on how you can help GRACE, contact Alicia Fike at 817-305-4655.