Beyond the Build

Community Service

Grilling Up Some Great Community Service

Effective community service is an essential part of every company’s resume, and it has been an active portion of our extra-curricular efforts over the last 25 years. Community service does several different things simultaneously:

  • Foremost, it helps whichever organization or charity we are supporting
  • It helps bond my team in a setting outside of the office, and is often something that everyone can do together
  • It gets the company name and message out there in a positive light

For the past three years during the last weekend in September, we as a company put down our computers and picked up a sauce mop to try our hand at grilling barbecue in the Pig Iron Barbecue competition, benefiting Children’s Harbor, a non-profit organization that provides social services, counseling and financial help to children with serious illnesses and their families.

Children’s Harbor maintains a 14,000 square foot Family Resource Center connected to Children’s Hospital in downtown Birmingham with a library, laundry, gym, basketball court, and nap room. It provides children and families who are long-term residents of the hospital with all the things the hospital can’t, and makes life just a little more tolerable for those in this unfortunate situation.

There are more than 40 companies and several thousand people that get together every year for the Pig Iron Barbecue who try to beat out everyone else for the title of best barbecue, while at the same time contributing to Children’s Harbor. This past year we had the honor of participating in the competition as well as taking home first place for best barbecue. Our employees were thrilled to win the trophy, but enjoyed time together and the chance to give back more than the prize. If your business makes a similar commitment to philanthropy, I can guarantee the charity won’t be the only benefactor. You’ll see a smile on every team member’s face.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.