Everything that My Plumber Heating and Air does for the communities it serves is grounded in the firm belief of the company’s owners, R. Wendell and Mark Presgrave, that giving back to the community is simply the right thing to do. The most well-known of My Plumber’s charitable activities is its Warm Hands and Full Hearts Food Drive and Food Drive Challenge. Over the past four years, the company has collected an amount of food equal in weight to seven adult male Asian elephants — nearly 28 tons. The Food Drive Challenge encourages other service companies to start their own food drives. An action plan, posters, a timeline, and other supporting materials are available free at www.warmhandsandfullhearts.com.
My Plumber is involved in many other efforts for the community. For example, in the next couple of weeks the company will issue a press release full of valuable information on winterizing outdoor hose bibs. In early October, My Plumber employees will spend a Saturday teaching 20 Boy Scouts what they need to know to earn their Plumbing Merit Badges. Activities include sponsorships, blue-jean days for various causes, posters that highlight a variety of organizations, etc. Further examples are:
- The Fourth Grade Challenge – My Plumber challenged 4th graders to write about the importance of fresh drinking water. The reward was a $50.00 gift card to Toys R Us and a lighted globe for the teachers involved.
- Sending representatives to schools to talk about plumbing, and for career day and job fairs.
- Sponsoring community sports teams, school plays, church activities, and fundraisers (e.g., Ducks Unlimited).
- Internal fundraising among employees for causes such as breast cancer awareness, collecting school supplies for needy children, Heifer International, March of Dimes, and Transitional Housing Barn (a local non-profit that educates mothers of minor children so that they can support their families).
- Community education through press releases on topics such as sump pump maintenance, plumbing-related spring cleaning tips, checking heating and air conditioning system filters, and jammed garbage disposals.
In addition to planned community activities, My Plumber offers spontaneous assistance to individuals. My Plumber’s technicians know that if they walk into a dire situation, such as when children or the elderly are involved, there is a threat to health, and the customer has no way to pay for repairs, the technicians can call in and receive authorization to perform the work at no charge. Over the years, many people have expressed doubt that the company could stay in business while performing so much pro bono work, but paradoxically, My Plumber thrives.
One of the greatest challenges My Plumber faces is not being able to get involved in every worthy cause that comes to the company’s attention. It seems that for every endeavor that My Plumber chooses to support, there are a thousand other causes, organizations and groups that deserve help, but frequently don’t get it. My Plumber Heating and Air has recently begun an effort to advocate for the many wonderful non-profit organizations that demonstrate the values and motivations My Plumber honors. The company provides a spotlight whenever possible for these organizations.
The rewards to My Plumber from its community involvement have been tremendous. For example, according to the Scout Master, the kids who have come to My Plumber to earn their Plumbing Merit Badges talk about their plumbing adventure for weeks, and everyone who gets involved in teaching the class enjoys the experience, as well. Employees who volunteer together develop a unique camaraderie which benefits the entire company. My Plumber’s reputation among customers and within the industry has been enhanced by the company’s community involvement. In fact, My Plumber has received several awards, including the Mayor’s Small Business Award (37-145 employees category) from the City of Manassas; First Prize in the Business Division, Acacia Federal Savings Bank’s Nice Guys Award; and the Circle of Love Award from Transitional Housing Barn.
Giving back to the community has proven to be a win-win situation for My Plumber Heating and Air and those it helps through its many activities. Opportunities to get involved abound in every local community, and My Plumber encourages other Nexstar member companies to find ways to support the causes and organizations that are important to their customers and employees.