This year’s IRE Community Service Day was a fantastic opportunity for the JobNimbus team to get involved with rebuilding efforts in the New Orleans area, where communities are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and other hardships.

So, we headed down a day early to lend a hand window glazing, painting, and carpentry. Other teams handled roofing, flooring, landscaping, and other odd jobs. More than 60 volunteers joined in on projects at multiple properties. It was so rewarding to be among this crew!

It also didn’t hurt that the weather cooperated! As you can see from our team pictures, it was a gorgeous day in New Orleans.

Here are a few specific takeaways about what the experience meant to us.

1. Service Set the Tone

This event was a fantastic way to set the tone for the entire conference. As mentioned, the IRE Community Service Day event took place one day before the conference’s regular programming. This gave our team a chance to get started on the right foot, by connecting to the local community as well as our professional peers. It meant we jumped right into connecting with others in meaningful ways. We showed up at the conference ready to get the most from our time there, propelled by the momentum of that service opportunity.

2. Service Expanded Our Circle

We interacted with skilled volunteers from varied professional backgrounds throughout the country, which was both fun and eye-opening. Everyone was so positive and helpful, and the time flew by.

It was interesting to chat about how business is going, goals, and what everyone’s looking forward to in 2018.

We also had the opportunity to meet the homeowner of the house we worked on, which really brought home what a service day like this can mean to someone in need–which many of us are at some point in our lives. The Rebuilding Together organization that ran the service event was very focused on the relationship with the homeowners (who are seniors and/or military veterans) and everyone involved.

3. Service Allowed Us to Share and Learn 

While a lot of professionals applied their experience and specialized skills, I actually learned an entirely new skill: glazing windows! This involves removing the caulk or seal around panes of glass then reapplying a fresh seal. Believe me, I’ll never look at those kinds of windows the same again!

By contrast, some members of our team have general contractor experience, and were able to lend that expertise to deck carpentry and other specialized tasks. It was so fun to see everyone doing their thing!

The yearly tradition began in 2010 and isn’t slowing down. We can definitely recommend it as a way to kick off the conference, make fun connections, share your expertise, and maybe even learn a new skill. The organizers did a great job and were really flexible when we needed to step away to set up our booth on the IRE convention floor. They also coordinated rides for anyone without a rental car and provided a delicious breakfast and lunch!

In addition to the images we’re sharing here of our JobNimbus team, Roofing Contractor magazine has a wonderful image gallery you can scroll through to get inspired and plan your participation next year!

So, if you’re on the fence about joining an IRE Community Service Day, just do it! It was a fantastic event to take part in and we look forward to joining these projects in the future.

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