One Small Business and the World
Lever Gear is a small business operating in a big world. We’re located in Greenville, South Carolina, a thriving city filled with movers, shakers, and change makers. We fancy ourselves a part of that crowd too.
To keep Greenville thriving, we volunteered in our community. This past Thursday, we partnered with the Greenville Rec Department as Park Heroes. We volunteered to clean the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a popular biking route that travels right through our backyard at Hampton Station!
What We Thought vs. What We Got
Going into this volunteer experience, we thought we’d collect small pieces of left behind litter. What we got was a lesson in Hampton Station’s history as a cotton warehouse and the warehouse’s waste management system, or lack thereof.
While Scott and Mike wrestled a tub from some over-grown brush and Jen rolled tires out to the curbside, April, Brayden, and I collected an assortment of bottles. We even found a glass Gatorade bottle (which hasn’t been produced since 1998) and a piece of metal so old a tree had grown around it.
Little By Little
When we began our volunteer experience, the amount of waste along the Swamp Rabbit Trail was overwhelming. There was a ton of trash—a literal ton of trash hiding under the cover of over-grown thickets.
As we cleaned, the progress we made looked negligible. I would pick up one bottle, and I’d see three more bottles just a little farther down the path. I’d pick those up and see a sheet of metal a little farther down. This “pick and see” continued the entire time we volunteered. Pick up, spot more, pick up, spot more.
By the end of the day, the Lever Gear Team collected about twenty large trash bags. Each bag was filled with pieces of glass, plastic bottles, plywood with nails sticking out of it—you know, your average run of the mill garbage (pun intended).
There’s a saying that goes, “Little by little, a little makes a lot.” Even though we couldn’t collect everything, we collected a lot of trash. Every piece of trash removed from the Swamp Rabbit was one less hazard walkers and cyclists had to worry about and one less thing polluting our outdoors.
Small Business, Big Impact
There is still a lot of work to do along the Swamp Rabbit. But after volunteering a few hours, I realized cleaning up the trail was a lot like operating our small business. When asked what I do at Lever Gear I say, “We’re a start-up, so everyone does a little bit of everything,” and the same is true when we support a cause.
April, Jen, Mike, Scott and I work day in and day out to make sure we’re creating a top of the line product; we support each other and lend a helping hand whenever anyone asks. Volunteering is no different. Our world is one, gigantic community, and when we all give a little, the world gets a lot. When we heard the Greenville Rec Department needed a helping hand, we volunteered. Little by little, our small business team was able to make a big impact.
If you, your family, or your business wants to volunteer, check out volunteermatch.org for opportunities near you.