Whether it’s a hot summer day building wheelchair access ramps for a disabled person’s home or a chilly fall morning in a blind helping a child with disabilities hunt deer, Glen Davis can’t help but smile.
“I’ve always been one of those guys who enjoys helping others,” said Glen, a 39-year employee at the Weyerhaeuser sawmill in Dodson, Louisiana and one of our 2021 Volunteers of the Year.
Outside of work, Glen is also an assistant pastor at Dodson Assembly of God. Service to others and volunteerism is tied to his faith. “It’s what the Lord has called on me to do,” he said.
About a decade ago, Glen took part in the first of five annual mission trips to Honduras, often aiding people in remote areas of abject poverty. The work inspired him to do more to help others at home. “The experience made me appreciate how fortunate most of us are in the U.S., but made me realize there was still so much need here,” he said.
So Glen and a group of others from several church’s founded a domestic mission team, the title says it all, HIS Mission Team, helping people in need by building wheelchair ramps, fixing roofs and completing other home repairs in Tennessee and northern Louisiana.
Then, a few years ago, a friend founded the Dream Hunt Foundation and asked Glen to help launch the new nonprofit. The organization gives disabled and disadvantaged kids the opportunity to spend time in the woods hunting deer. For most of the kids it would be their first time to ever hunt and or shoot. “It started with just a few kids, and now we have chapters across the state and help more than 200 kids each year,” Glen said. “I’m so grateful to work for a company that supports an organization like this.”
Tell us a bit about your day job.
“I’m the materials manager at Dodson Lumber. I procure machine parts, non-raw-material supplies and storeroom inventory to keep the mill running. I started at the bottom 39 years ago, and I’ve worked in planning, production and maintenance, including supervisory positions.”
What did you think when you found out about the award?
“One of my coworkers told me I’d been nominated. I was ecstatic and humbled just to be considered. Helping others is something I have in my heart. I don’t do it for recognition. I was overjoyed when I won and learned Dream Hunt Foundation would receive $5,000 from our Giving Fund.”
What motivates you to volunteer with Dream Hunt?
“I talk about the Lord a lot because He’s a big part of my life. The Bible says to have a servant’s heart. So many kids want to go hunting but aren’t able to. It’s a fantastic feeling to help them do something the rest of us take for granted. I get the same feeling from doing home repair work for people in need. The gift of service goes both ways: The giver and the recipient both gain.
What made you choose Dream Hunt?
“Jeff Warren founded Dream Hunt when a need was laid on his heart to give disadvantaged and disabled children the opportunity to hunt. It’s materialized into something bigger than any of us ever imagined. More hunters volunteered. More kids signed up. Landowners from near and far have asked to host — we just took several kids on a hunt in Texas. Taking a kid on their first deer hunt is a memory I’ll never forget. The excitement on their face when they harvest the deer is simply amazing.
What are the community challenges you see that you’re trying to address with this work?
“There are so many kids who want to go hunting but can’t, especially those who have disabilities or are terminally ill. Some have never been in the woods. As hunters, we deeply appreciate the opportunity to just be in nature and the excitement of hunting and maybe harvesting an animal as magnificent as the whitetail deer, and we want to share it.”
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we couldn’t serve some terminally ill children for safety reasons, so we expanded to include kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. No matter their situation, their hunting adventure is always life-changing.”
What’s your favorite part of the work?
“Meeting people, getting to know them and their stories. Everyone has a story. When you take the time to know someone, you make an impact on their life. And they make an impact on yours. That’s what service is all about.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to give back but doesn’t know how or where?
“I believe we must all do our part. We all have time we can volunteer. No matter your skill set, there’s always work to be done, something you can do — I’ve worked on projects with folks who’ve never done carpentry but who learn on the job to screw in a deck board, run power tools and read a tape measure.”
How have you benefitted or been changed by volunteering?
“It’s helped me become a better neighbor, a better colleague and a better person. I’m more compassionate and more patient, especially when trying to teach someone something they’ve never done before. I’ve come to realize the value of the skills I’ve been blessed with. At the same, I better appreciate that skills I consider to be second nature may not be second nature to someone else.”
Glen was nominated and selected based on his commitment in serving people and children with disabilities in his local community.
Mr. Davis had multiple nominations for this award, one of whom said, “Glen Davis helps build wheelchair ramps for those in need of a ramp, he also volunteers with The Dream Hunt Foundation whose mission is to help kids with special needs to experience the outdoors in an organized hunting experience. This is an experience these kids will never forget. Glen is always looking for ways to provide service to the local community and he selflessly gives his time and skills to others. Glen is a prime example of caring leadership and putting others needs before his own. “
A Weyerhaeuser representative told Mr. Davis, “Your commitment to serve demonstrates Weyerhaeuser’s value in our commitment to community, and serves as an inspiration for all employees. As a recipient of this award, you will receive a $5,000 WAVES grant award to go to the organization of your choice and we will also feature your story on ROOTS.”
THANK YOU GLEN for your community service to those in need in your local community.
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