Almost 70,000 people live in our city – that’s a lot of people to invest in! It is vital that we do our best to plug in and give back as much as we can.
Here at Eagle Eye, we have what we like to call the “Circle of Service”. Three components make up this circle: Our Staff, Our Customers, and Our Community. We believe very strongly that people matter most. We believe in taking time to invest and pour into the people surrounding us. One of the ways that we invest our time is through our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program. Our VTO program is where employees are paid per usual, to volunteer in our community. Volunteer hours are added in with employee’s regular schedules.
- Team Building. Employees typically work in a group with different organizations throughout the Wiregrass area to perform VTO. This time spent together allows them the opportunity to get to truly know one another. Employees can also gain skills in communication and problem solving while simultaneously learning to be a team player.
- Community Involvement. Volunteering makes employees aware of things happening in our city and it opens their eyes to unmet needs in our community. In 2017, our staff spent over 200 hours on small, individual projects they found for themselves. Other staff members also went on individual mission trips to places like Honduras, Guatemala, and India using their VTO hours. It is so cool to see employees take VTO into their own hands and see how they treasure our community.
- Employee Confidence. Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a sense of achievement. This sense of purpose can lead to increased productivity and higher workplace morale.
- Employee Retention + Purpose. Creating a workplace that allows employees to find pride in both the company they work for and the work they do, you see consistent loyalty. Having employees involved can increase the commitment they feel towards their job duties and the company they represent.
- Skill Development. Implementing a volunteer program can be an effective way to help employees develop skills that will, in turn, be beneficial to their job performance. Many professionals agree that volunteering is beneficial to developing leadership skills.
- Wiregrass Hope Group. Their mission is “to share the hope of Jesus Christ, promote human life, and care for people through pregnancy resources, biblical counseling, and relationship education”. Employees have helped the Wiregrass Hope Group prepare for their annual banquet, their Hardees Ride for Hope, and their baby bottle ministry.
- Meals on Wheels. This ministry is facilitated by First United Methodist Church and Wesley Manor. This ministry delivers meals to people who aren’t able to prepare cooked meals themselves. Usually anywhere from 2-4 employees will load up and distribute the meals to the route they are given.
- The Harbor Church. The mission of this church is “to transform the heart of Dothan through the transforming love and power of Jesus. We serve all those in need, physically and spiritually.” The Harbor Church has a variety of services including the following: providing meals at various times throughout the week, providing clothing/hygiene/groceries to those in need, a warming station, job training/resume/budgeting resources, and financial assistance. Along with all of these services, The Harbor Church also has worship services, Bible studies, youth/children ministry, and street ministry. Eagle Eye employees have used their VTO hours to partake in street ministry with The Harbor Church. Eagle Eye employees and people from The Harbor Church go out into different neighborhoods throughout Dothan spreading the gospel to everyone they encounter. Talk about a neat experience!!
- Dothan Education Foundation. VTO opportunities with the Dothan Education Foundation are numerous. Eagle Eye employees have gone into different Dothan City Schools and helped with field days, tutoring, and many other activities that the schools have going on. Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter from young children is always such a joy.
- Habitat for Humanity. “Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seek to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope.” Eagle Eye employees have used their VTO hours with Habitat for Humanity by helping out with their ReStore furniture store, and also by helping clean outbuildings, or whatever they need to be done.
- Girls, Inc. This organization “empowers girls to be strong, smart, and bold”. Girls Inc. is a phenomenal organization that inspires girls to be independent. Girls Inc. allows girls from kindergarten to eighth grade to come and learn how to be strong, bold women. Eagle Eye employees have used VTO hours here to teach cooking classes, help with afternoon tutoring, and just spend time with the girls.
- The Exchange Center. This organization seeks to prevent child abuse. The Exchange Center offers counseling and valuable classes on different areas of life. Eagle Eye employees have used VTO hours here to clean out storage spaces, help with the Super Hero 5K run, and other tasks the Exchange Center may have needed.
- Wiregrass Children’s Home. Eagle Eye has helped with an event the Wiregrass Children’s Home puts on each year called, Festival of Trees. This event takes place in November each year, and it raises money for the Wiregrass Children’s Home. People decorate Christmas trees and then have them auctioned off at this event. The proceeds go towards the Children’s Home. Eagle Eye employees help with this event by helping to prep before the event, and then actually working the event.
- Dothan/Wiregrass Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Eagle Eye helps with an event called Fields of Faith, put on once a year by, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). At this event, thousands of students from churches and schools from all over the wiregrass gather together for a night of worship and fellowship with one another. Eagle Eye employees have used their VTO hours to be counselors for this huge event.
2017 was a record year for our VTO program. Eagle Eye achieved 2,000 service hours just through our VTO program (this excludes our heavy involvement with WIRED ministries). In 2014, our staff completed about 608 service hours. In just three years we have more than tripled that number of service hours! We enjoy our VTO program so much and are so thankful for every organization here in Dothan that is making a difference in our community.
Our greatest hope and desire is that other businesses will lean in and open their minds to the possibility of having a Volunteer Time Off program or something similar. VTO is such a beneficial program not only to our community but also to our staff. We look forward to growing our VTO program for years to come, and we also anticipate all that God is going to do in our community over time. People are valuable, and it is our job to invest in them.
For more information on Eagle Eye’s VTO program and how your business could benefit from something like it, contact Dustin Lee, our General Manager, Kelley Johnson, our Marketing Manager, or Susan Anderson, one of our owners.