Teamwork Lightens the Load

By Patrice Peterson | June 22nd, 2016  

            Four Thomson-Reuters employees are incorporating the time-honored concept of teamwork to help a senior Eagan resident stay in her home by mowing her lawn this season.

            “Earlier in the spring, our corporate internal Hub site listed some volunteer opportunities through DARTS, and lawn mowing was suggested as a possible group activity,” says Michael Brunette, “Summertime is busy for everyone, but with several of us involved, we can make that commitment.”

            So Michael reached out to his peers and counterparts in the company’s database area, and he heard back from Kelly Erskine, Tony Pahl, and Dave Baar.

            After learning more about the program specifics and filling out the necessary paperwork with DARTS, they all went together to meet the homeowner, Barb, and spent time socializing with her.

            Now they each take turns mowing the “smaller standard lot” and then sweeping the driveway. Kelly, the others say, takes a little longer because she has to mow a “perfect pattern” each time.  

            As you would expect from corporate database employees, they “threw together” a project schedule with all the details and assigned dates, along with overall availability, so they can switch times if necessary. Dave is the director of the group at work, but in lawn mowing, it’s a level field.    

            Volunteering comes naturally for these four employees of Thomson-Reuters, where service opportunities are encouraged.  They live in Eagan, Cottage Grove, Burnsville, and Farmington, and regularly give their time and energy to a variety of organizations and causes.  

            “Volunteering is a desire to do something that isn’t about me – it’s about giving back to others and helping people in need,” says Dave. Tony adds that he always feel like he’s getting more back than he gives.

            Kelly says they also all enjoy doing something totally different from work, which involves spending a great deal of time at a desk.

            “It’s about respecting the generation before you, “ says Tony, “and helping them out when they’re in a situation where they can’t do something for themselves.”

            Dave hopes that this teamwork experiment will continue, and that next year they can get more people involved.

           “So many service opportunities are one-time things,” Kelly adds. “This is ongoing, and although it’s not a big time commitment for each of us, it’s a big deal for the homeowner Barb.”