One of our Customer Coordinators, Joel Mayer, has been on staff with Maintenance Connection since 2009. In 2012, Joel approached our team about an opportunity he and his family had to make an impact in a country called Estonia. As part of our ongoing MC Gives Back efforts, MC has partnered with Joel having him continue contributing to the Customer Coordinator team in a part-time role while he develops relationships and serves the community where he lives.
Here is their story:
We said goodbye to our 1 year old son and walked into the airport unsure of what the next 10 days would bring. We would never be the same.
My wife, Keturah, and I heard about an organization that had started two years earlier in Tallinn, Estonia. Simply called Serve the City, their mission is to raise awareness of needs in the community and champion these causes by channeling volunteers to help meet these needs. Post-communist Estonia has been rebuilding since 1991 when they declared their independence. While their strong economy has made recent headline news around the world, there is a lack of vision for caring for the homeless, the shut-in, the orphan.
When we arrived at near the of June we were met by days where twilight and dawn appear to merge. The next days events were designed to introduce us to Estonian culture and give us hands on experience volunteering with different partners.
As we flew over the Atlantic during our return flight to the US, we both knew that our lives would never be the same. You see, there was an position open in Serve the City Tallinn to help further their work. It was offered to us. We accepted.
We have been on Estonian soil since November 2012. Since then, our volunteers have served thousands of meals in the city’s lone soup kitchen. We have renovated dilapidated quarters in a halfway house. We have packed hundreds of food boxes for families struggling to make ends meet. We have cleaned the dwellings of numerous shut-ins who are unable to do so themselves. We have organized and provided activities and programs for orphans who would otherwise be left with just a bed. We have cleaned trash from the streets of Tallinn and handed out warm tea to homeless in the middle of cold winter’s night.
We know that a lot of people doing a little bit can make a big difference. Here in Estonia, we are seeing the city change one volunteer at a time.