I particularly like Anne Frank’s sentiment because I feel it applies to what we do as a design + construct firm and what we do as individuals in our community.
SweisKloss’ policy is to support our team members’ activities in the community. Some firms may encourage their staff to get involved; our staff needs no encouragement. Each team member has come to SweisKloss with a full resume of giving back.
Our office boasts a board member for the nonprofit Santa Monica Repertory Theater Board, a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica Community Council, a volunteer Boy Scout troop leader, a volunteer Cub Scout officer, and a volunteer soccer coach. At SweisKloss each member is given the time they need to fully participate and make a difference within their organizations.
And currently our office is home to two past presidents and one current board of directors member of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica. Kiwanis is an international organization that helps children and families in need in over 80 countries. Locally we help kids here on the westside by sponsoring enrichment activities such as reading and art programs, and annually awarding grants and scholarships.
As the chairperson of the Scholarship Committee, every spring I turn our office into scholarship-central. It is an exciting and busy time as our committee pours over applications, chooses the winners of over $40,000 in awards, and plans and hosts two awards ceremonies for scholarship recipients and their families. But the best part is getting to know these remarkable students, most of whom have extreme financial need.
One of the high school recipients this year drew tears from the audience as she described how proud of herself that she was to be able to have achieved academic success while taking care of her blind father from the age of 5. Another young woman managed to get straight A’s even though she had to study by flashlight because her family’s power had been shut off. Every year our committee, and our office, is honored to be able to help students like these.
We have been asked why participating in community service is an important part of our company philosophy. It isn’t. Our philosophy is to make the world better. And as Booker T. Washington said, “the most useful and influential people are those who take the deepest interest in institutions that exist for the purpose of making the world better.” Our team of useful and influential people are doing just that.