The McFerrin Park community center has been supplying a Christmas party and much needed toys to the Dickerson/East Nashville community for years with the help of volunteers.
This year they received a helping hand from Collier Engineering, in the form of toys and gifts.
Collier Engineering provides engineering services with expertise in the planning, design, and management of construction projects in the fields of transportation, site/civil design, construction management, storm water infrastructure, surveying, and landscape architecture.
The company was founded in 1981 James L. Collier who, upon his death in 2003, passed the business to his nephew, Chad Collier. Chad used the knowledge and commitment to service instilled by his uncle to grow the company from three employees to 85, adding an additional location.
Benny Word, who is a Senior Project Manager with Collier Engineering was meeting with District 5 Councilman Scott Davis and heard that the McFerrin Park Community Center needed help with donations for the area kids in need. He met with company President Chad Collier and they organized an office toy drive.
Giving is an important part of the culture at Collier engineering, and Word believes that individuals who are blessed should give back to the community.
“I got behind it, and put our whole company behind it,” said Collier. “I was shocked. It was quite a bit more than even I thought we would do. I’m proud of all our folks for pitching in and doing a lot of good work. “
“We were just happy and pleased to be involved and give what we were able to give,” said Word. “We saw a need in the community and the people around the office really chipped in.”
It started with a competition between the Collier office locations. Chad Collier offered whichever raised the most money and toys a free lunch after the first of the year; and the individual who raised the most to receive an extra holiday day.
With Collier matching employee giving dollar for dollar, more than $5,000 in toys and gift cards were donated.
“We had a really great response from our staff. We’re members of the Nashville community and our employees really enjoy giving back,” said Collier.
Some employees gave hundreds of dollars, others reached out to friends and colleagues in the construction business, and according to Collier: “one employee even held a toy drive at his small church, putting an extra 15-20 toys in the mix.”
Collier strives to be a positive part of the community and its employees are always looking for ways they can be good neighbors. The company has an employee engagement committee and plans regular giving events such as clean up days at local parks.
“The employees get together and they identify things that they can do in the community, and everyone gets behind that and do it. It’s really great to see.”
This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride.