“Dream to Reality”: A Journey of Service and Discovery on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
- Posted by Gabe Hoffman
- On October 19, 2017
This summer, I was able to take the trip of a lifetime and spend a full week volunteering on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northern Montana with Global Volunteers.
Global Volunteers (GV) is a non-profit organization that specializes in short-term volunteer programs for student groups, professional individuals, and families. Their volunteer site locations include places like Tanzania, Peru, and St Lucia. Specifically on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, GV participants are given the opportunity to focus on service surrounding labor, education, childcare, and administrative projects. While there, I learned about The Blackfoot culture, worked hand-in-hand with the community and met some amazing people.
Without some of the great employment benefits offered by Screen Pilot, I would not have been able to make this opportunity a reality.
Being in my 20’s, with plenty of expenses and commitments, it can be hard to find the time and funds to spend a week to take on a project like this. All employees of Screen Pilot are able to take advantage of $500 Personal/Professional Development Stipend per year, as well as three extra days of PTO that can be used towards volunteering efforts. I used my development stipend to help offset those costs associated with giving back and used all three days of my Volunteer PTO to spend the week in Montana.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I first approached Tom and Becky, our CEO and Chief Cultural Officer respectively, to propose my taking advantage of this generous stipend. After all, not many companies encourage their employees to take several days off at a time, and provide a stipend to do so. However, after meeting with them it was extremely obvious that they are grateful to be able to offer these types of benefits and wanted me to use these perks to benefit myself and to give back.
The experience of volunteering on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation will stick with me for life. The week I spent on the reservation was more than just the meals I served, the camps I helped out with, and the time I spent doing labor. I’ll remember the struggles the native people face, their inspiring spirit, and their appreciation for the earth and everything they have.
Recently, I was invited on the Be The Change podcast to talk about what it’s like working for a company like Screen Pilot that cares about its employees, the world around us, and how much of a difference that makes for company culture. Take a listen via the links below:
Link to iTunes episode about Global Volunteer’s stipend and culture
Link to iTunes episode about my experience with Global Volunteers.
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