By BAILEY BASHAM
It is not uncommon for large companies to encourage community service, particularly during the holiday season.
It builds team spirit. It enhances the company’s image. And it magnifies a sense of mission.
Ramsey Solutions in Franklin, which emphasizes an ethic of service, does it on a large scale.
This month, nearly 800 staffers at Ramsey Solutions in Franklin will be giving back to the community as part of their 30 Days of Service initiative.
Ramsey employees worked loading supplies at Church of Christ Disaster Relief earlier this week. // SUBMITTED
Founded by Dave Ramsey, Ramsey Solutions works to help people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills and enhance their lives through personal development. Last year was the team’s first official 30-day service project, but Suzanne Simms, who is the executive vice president of the business to consumer division, said the company has been giving back for years during the holiday season.
Simms is volunteering this week with the Nashville Rescue Mission, an organization in Music City that works to provide food, clothing and shelter to people experiencing homelessness in Nashville. Having grown up in Nashville, Simms said she’s been able to watch the organization’s mission expand.
“I’ve been at Ramsey for 17 years, and so I know a lot of the mission’s history. It has a brand recognition that is known for going out of their way to take care of people, especially this time of year,” she said. “One of our mantras at Ramsey is that we exist for those who are not here. We come every day to work, to serve. We work really hard here and run at a really fast pace, so when we volunteer, it’s a good way to refresh and remind us of the priorities. This time of year is a real good time to do that because we can get really me-focused.”
For many at Ramsey Solutions, the volunteer efforts are close to their hearts. Kelly Daniel, associate producer for the Dave Ramsey Show, will lead the team at the Nashville Rescue Mission this week — she said she chose the organization because of the many homeless people that experience mental illness and special needs.
“That hits very close to home for my family as we have a child that deals with the same issues,” she said. “And we know that without the proper support and care, homelessness often becomes the only option for some people. Every person served by the Nashville Rescue Mission is someone’s child and more importantly, a child of God. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and dignity.”
With a staff as large as Ramsey Solutions, service opportunities also give workers a chance to get to know people outside their immediate work circle. // SUBMITTED
Denise Whittemore, director of the Ramsey Family Foundation, said the idea for the 30-Days of Service came from the organization’s model of giving back. Years ago, Dave Ramsey closed Ramsey Solutions for a day so all the team members could spend the day volunteering.
At Ramsey, staffers who have been there for a year are also given one week of paid time off, in addition to sick days and vacation, to do ministry work. For Simms, said the opportunity to give back is part of what fuels her work at Ramsey.
“With our company’s rapid growth to 750 team members, we’ve had to get creative to span our volunteer efforts beyond just one day,” she said. “Last year, we served six local organizations over a two-week period in November, and this year, we took it up a notch by committing to serve 11 organizations during the month of November.”
A new headquarters in Franklin is under construction for Ramsey Solutions, and it will stand six stories high, measure more than 223,000 square feet and include a coffee shop and bookstore for those watching “The Dave Ramsey Show” in studio. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2019.
With Ramsey’s continued growth, Simms said the 30 days of service is a great way to get to know some of the people you pass by every day.
“We’re going to have almost 800 team members here soon, and I don’t know half the people that work here. Through this work, we’ll be able to bond with the people who are on the same mission and do some giving back to our great community,” she said.
Teams from Ramsey will will volunteer this month at the following organizations:
Nov. 1: The Bridge Ministry and Churches of Christ Disaster Relief
Nov. 2: 4:13 Strong and Graceworks Ministries
Nov. 5: Churches of Christ Disaster Relief and Graceworks Ministries
Nov. 7: Special Kids Therapy & Nursing Center and Nashville Rescue Mission
Nov. 8: My Friend’s House and Nashville Rescue Mission
Nov. 13: Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee
Nov. 14: Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes
Nov. 15: Nashville Rescue Mission
Nov. 16: Graceworks Ministries
Nov. 19: The Bridge Ministry
Nov. 20: Second Harvest
Nov. 26: Nashville Rescue Mission
Nov. 27: Second Harvest
Nov. 28: The Bridge Ministry and YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee
Nov. 29: Second Harvest
Nov. 30: Graceworks Ministries