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Giving Back to the Community and Bringing People Together

October 8, 2020

Textron Systems team members are encouraged to support their local communities through volunteering their time and resources throughout the year. For one team member, this has meant going above and beyond not only for his community, but also his team.

Dean, a Property Analyst on the Unmanned Systems contractor logistics support (CLS) team in Maryland, has made a big impact in a short amount of time. Dean has only been with Textron Systems for two years, but each month he organizes an event for his team members called “Cooking for a Cause.” He brings in lunch for his co-workers, and in return they bring in donations for a charity of Dean’s choice.

Dean launched the event nearly a year ago, and even with the disruption of COVID-19 (coronavirus), he found a way to keep his event up and running. Before COVID-19, Dean would bring in meals for his team to eat buffet-style in the conference room. Today, Dean is donating even more of his time to ensure he’s following proper safety precautions by providing individually portioned meals.

Dean has been involved in his local communities for more than 10 years. In 2019, Dean participated in Textron Systems’ Day of Service, where a simple grill sparked the idea for this event. Alongside other Textron employees, he visited First Fruits Farm and Southern York County Food Pantry, and saw unused grills at each location, making him wonder why no one was using them.

Because Dean attended culinary school as a teenager before joining the defense industry, this grill inspired him to pair his cooking abilities with his desire to serve the community, and crafted Cooking for a Cause.

Last month, Dean dedicated 15 hours of his time and his own money to plan and execute Cooking for a Cause. He even sends out forms that contain a “menu” and brings in personalized options for his team members that they can eat for lunch that day or take home as a frozen meal.

Matt, Government Property Manager and Dean’s CLS colleague, encourages this kind of service among his team. “I think being flexible with personal time and time off is something to strive for. It’s important to realize that while Textron Systems does great, necessary work, it’s also important to give back to the communities in which we live,” he said.

Dean attributes the success of his event to Textron Systems’ company synergy and compressed work week schedule, which gives him the flexibility to plan the meals, create the menu to distribute to his co-workers and cook the food.

“We work with such heartfelt people,” Dean said. “I have no problem being the one to lead by example to get people involved and donating.”

With the unexpected arrival of COVID-19, more people than ever have found themselves in a situation of need. “You don’t ever know what your family, friends’, or even your own situation is going to be. I feel blessed that I have a job to come to when many others right now don’t,” Dean said.

Randy, CLS Warehouse Manager and Dean’s supervisor, believes service is important for everyone to participate in. “I think it really puts things into perspective. You really develop empathy for others, and Dean has gotten many people involved who maybe wouldn’t have had the time or resources otherwise,” Randy said.

Dean recommends that anyone interested in giving back to their community keep an eye out for Textron Systems’ 2020 Day of Service. He also encourages looking into volunteering or donation opportunities for the following organizations: Southern York County Pantry, First Fruits Farm and Meals on Wheels America.