I had the good fortune to organize Liftopia Volunteer Day last month. At Liftopia, not only are we focused on scoring you great deals on lift tickets and mountain activities (and hitting the slopes ourselves), but we also want to give back to the community where we live and work. Earlier this month, in one of San Francisco’s rare heat waves, we walked from our headquarters to Glide Memorial Church and entered the basement where food service was located, anticipating the warm, humid conditions.
Our team was split up into different groups with some stationed in the prep kitchen with Earl (one the funniest and nicest guys who runs prep kitchen); others behind a food station on the line with Henry, one of the heads of the kitchen; or giving badges to become an expediter with James, the floor manager of the eating area. With smiles on their faces, I saw Otto, Ryan, and Ron sweating profusely (you could tell by the sweat stains on their shirts) as they carried cases of soda and full lunch trays from one eating area to another; Kate and Diana shucking corn husk and then breaking the corn cobs in half (can you say ‘carpal tunnel’?); and Hayley, Evan, and Matt unloading, rinsing, cutting, chopping, and reloading food in the prep kitchen (A novice with the knife? No longer a problem for these three). Lastly, there was myself, standing over a steaming hot tray of turkey stew (a fan favorite by visitors) at the food station. Needless to say, we dripped of sweat once we were done; it looked as if we just visited a water theme park.
After the two-hour lunch service and the walk back in the blistering sun, it was obvious that everyone was exhausted, but without delay, we all hopped onto our computers and the sound of fingers hitting keyboards filled the office once again. When I started organizing this event, I thought my biggest obstacle with volunteering was scheduling a time that everyone could join. However, without any hesitation the whole team immediately accepted my invitation when it was sent.
Prior to Liftopia Volunteer Day, I started volunteering at Glide when I attended college, originally as part of a requirement for a class, but I eventually continued the work in my spare time as my way to stay involved in my community. I took a hiatus from volunteering for about a year and half, but continued again with my daughter last fall. Organizing this event was a great way to share an activity that is very dear to me.
Since my start with the company, I have always viewed Liftopia as a company looking to break down barriers, to serve fellow skiers and snowboarders, and to make a positive change in the ski community. It would be an understatement to say how proud and overwhelmed with excitement I was to see my fellow Liftopia teammates bring that same attitude and enthusiasm to our local community, holding true to the idea of valuing and respecting our differences, empowering those around us, and celebrating transformation.