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CPC Spotlight: Southeastern Freight Lines

When your job is to serve, serving others outside of the office comes naturally. Mike Heaton, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Southeastern Freight Lines, explains why his team steps up to serve the community. “What we do in sales and marketing is serve our clients. We don’t make anything, we provide service every day. Offering service in the community feels natural, and it makes us feel good about what we’re doing.”

Companies who serve make a difference.

When you spend your day focused on what’s best for your clients, it isn’t much of a stretch to consider how you can make things better for people beyond the office walls.

The Cassels family, who founded and continue to operate SEFL, is committed to service within the company and in the community. In 2012, they started a company-wide initiative, Southeastern Serves. Everyone is encouraged to participate and the initiative gives them plenty of opportunities to do that. Since the program’s inception, 9,785 participants have completed 598 projects and served for a combined 28,949 total hours. Each location identifies which projects mean the most to them and 89 of SEFL’s 90 service centers have completed projects. The hours spent on those projects go a long way in making the world a better place.

Serving together helps the team form important bonds.

Heaton values the experiences he’s had serving with his team, like a recent project at Providence Home, a transitional residence for men who are homeless after leaving treatment facilities or being incarcerated. “We did an event at the Providence Home just before Christmas,” he explains. “I had the privilege of presenting the devotion. Afterward, the outpouring of love and appreciation meant so much. I felt like what we did for that little bit of time had a profound impact on people.”

Spending time outside of the office working together to help others helps people see another side of their coworkers, and it’s inspiring. On working with his team, Heaton says, “Through these projects, I have formed bonds with people here who I never knew before I served with them. The camaraderie that develops wouldn’t happen any other way.”

Serving in the community makes everything easier.

It was a glorious spring, weekend morning, and Heaton had agreed to go to downtown Columbia to serve people who were homeless. But his wife had ordered “a mountain of mulch” the day before, which was ready and waiting for him to put out in the yard. Although he knew it would make for a full day, Heaton was committed to serving the homeless and doing the mulching. When his shift downtown was over, he felt energized. “My heart was full of gratefulness for everything I have and it felt fantastic to put a smile on people’s faces.” That feeling made it easier to spend the rest of the day mulching, and no doubt his efforts put a smile on his wife’s face.

Service begets service, at home, at work, and in the community. When the leaders at a company like SEFL value service, everyone benefits!

We’re so thankful for our Corporate Philanthropy Partners and everything they do to make the world a better place. Contact Cherise Arrendale at [email protected] today to learn more about how we can help your company invest in our community.