The saying goes that April showers bring May flowers, but here at TestOut, those May flowers bring a little something extra: the opportunity to engage in a day of community service work. Each year in May, the entire company divides into two work crews, one that's on duty in the morning, and one that takes over after lunch. Both groups help the city of Pleasant Grove, Utah, where TestOut is located, plant flowers.
The morning crew crosses the street to plant flowers in beds that surround the Pleasant Grove Library. The library sits near a busy street corner, and passing motorists and pedestrians, as well as library patrons, see the flowers every day. After finishing up at the library, the morning crew also plants flowers in raised beds at the corners of one of the busiest intersections in the city.
The afternoon crew splits up between Pleasant Grove Cemetery (where at least one person is buried who was born before George Washington's first term as president) and Discovery Park. The team at the park tends flower beds that line the entry, while the cemetery team fills a large planter that surrounds a city memorial to war veterans (just in time for peak blossoming to occur on Memorial Day weekend).
Service is an important company value at TestOut, where our mission statement is, "We make a difference in a person's life through education using breakthrough technology." It's on the wall in our front reception area. Education has the power to unlock all sorts of different advantages for a given individual, and we're serious about helping our customers achieve more than they ever imagined they could.
Service isn't always about life-changing impacts, however, and every good act doesn't necessarily endure through the ages. The flowers that TestOut plants are annuals, mostly marigolds and petunias. They don't even bloom for the entire season, and they have to be replanted every year. And that's OK. Little acts of service, in their own way, are just as important as big ones.
Doing the little things often makes service more personally meaningful. You connect with the importance of helping out when you're on your hands and knees in the dirt in a way that's different from what happens when you're seated alone at a desk. And like many small acts of service do in a figurative sense, planting flowers literally make the world more beautiful. Even if they don't last forever. After all, that just means there will be another opportunity to serve.