One of the unique things about BTI360 is its dedication to giving back to the community. On our first day here we learned about a variety of opportunities to serve with BTI360, including the annual trip to the Dominican Republic. We also learned about the College Hire Program’s summer serving events that happen every year and allow us to experience the community of service that BTI360 has built.
This year our serving opportunity was with Tree of Life — a Loudoun County-based organization committed to providing meals and resources to those less fortunate. We joined them on two occasions to serve food to the people of Leesburg.
The first time we served with them, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect but we were eager to hit the ground running. Other teammates from the company showed up to serve along with us, so we ended up with a big group! At first, it was a little awkward — our goal was essentially to talk to people and get to know them, which can be a real challenge (especially for the introverts among us)! But slowly throughout the evening we started to feel comfortable and were able to really connect. By the time we came back for the second serving opportunity we were pros.
One memorable experience was meeting Debbie, an older woman with Down Syndrome who came to both events. Sarah and Erin got to sit down and eat with her both weeks we were there. They shared about their lives and interests and got to laugh and talk together. This experience meant a lot to Sarah especially because she has a younger sister with Down Syndrome. She hadn’t interacted with many older people with Down Syndrome before, so talking with Debbie and getting to know her was enjoyable and encouraging.
These serving activities pushed us out of our comfort zones, and we were all able to grow a lot through them! Even though initiating conversations with people we didn’t know was intimidating at first, we all found common threads or interests with the people we talked to. It was inspiring to realize how much we had in common with these people that we had never met before, and probably wouldn’t have interacted with if not for this serving opportunity. Having the example of full-time teammates to follow was helpful as well.
The culture of servanthood at the company has inspired us to seek out more opportunities that will push us to grow as people, and having people to support us as we do so means a lot. We are thankful to have been able to take part in this experience and get to know a side of the community that we might not have otherwise.