At CHG, our people use their volunteer time off (VTO) in various ways, from improving schools and raising money for co-workers in need to providing food and education for local families. Recently, team members from our CompHealth division and corporate teams used a portion of their remaining VTO by clearing new trails in Salt Lake City’s Big Cottonwood Canyon.
“It was unlike anything I’d ever done before,” says Kerry Wagner, manager for CompHealth’s resident and fellow recruitment team. “I didn’t realize how trails were planned out. Rather than magically appear, it takes a lot of physical labor. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad we did it.”
The opportunity arose when Mark Robbins, an ultra-marathon runner and sales director at CompHealth, needed to complete a certain number of volunteer hours in order to qualify for a 100-mile race across Utah’s Wasatch Front. He had helped clean and create trails through the Cottonwood Canyon Foundation (CCF) in the past but wanted to include his co-workers this time around.
“So many of us take from the mountains,” says Mark. “This is a great opportunity to give back to them.”
“It took about 30 minutes to hike up to our work spot,” recalls Steven Strate, a CompHealth sales manager. “That was really cool, because we got to know more about each other and network with the people we don’t normally work with on a daily basis.”
Once the team reached their destination, they used tools like pickaxes and leverage bars to clear out obstacles, including boulders, rocks and shrubs.
“It was definitely hard but so rewarding at the same time,” continues Steven. “I grew up snowboarding on those mountains, and I’m glad I could help others have access to the same mountains.”
For Brooke Ziakas, a quality coordinator for CompHealth, the four hours of work gave her a new appreciation for the trails she and her family use. “We take it for granted sometimes,” she says. “I really didn’t realize the work that went into creating these trails. It was so great to play a part in making them.”
If you think that four hours of back-breaking work would deter these CHG-ers from doing the same volunteer opportunity next year, think again. A handful have already signed up to make new trails with CCF in 2017.