A Culture Of Caring
Beginning with our founder, Fred McWilliams and continuing to today’s leadership, GMI Corporation has always been generous in supporting local 501c3 charities within Franklin, Indiana and Johnson County. As an employee-owned company, we strongly believe in nurturing a culture of caring, organization wide. By actively promoting volunteerism and corporate volunteer opportunities, together, we serve each other, our neighbors and make the world a better place. We value civic-minded team members and enjoy giving back cooperatively through our annual Project Possible program.
Meet Project Possible
In 2017, during the transition from McWiliams to Barr at the helm of GMI, the two decided to put a bit more structure around GMI’s corporate philanthropic efforts and allow for the annual giving to be employee-driven, so no one feels obligated to participate and the employees are encouraged to give and serve local 501c3 charities that speak to their hearts.
“Fred was always very generous, both inward to employees and outward to the community,” says Aaron Barr, GMI Corporation President.
“If he knew someone was struggling, he would pull out of his own pocket and help. I come from a large corporate background, and the spirit of giving at GMI was something that I really appreciated. I knew I wanted to continue to honor that spirit.”
GMI’s Project Possible Comes to Life
GMI kicked off with a contest for employees to name to their annual charitable efforts and Project Possible was born! Annually, ten employees sign up to serve on a Project Possible steering committee for the year. They meet off the clock and coordinate the local 501c3 charities to be served that year and then coordinate employee events.
The team does as many projects as they can come up with and man with the support of GMI team member volunteers. Our first year (2018), we accomplished two projects. In 2019, we accomplished a Project Possible event quarterly. Due to the pandemic, 2020 was an off year. So far in 2021, we’ve been able to accomplish monthly Project Possible events!
Annual Project Possible Mission Trip
Throughout the year, the team focus on serving locally, but at the end of each year, the steering committee caps off their year of service with a mission trip to Mexico with Youth with a Mission and Homes of Hope. Each employee gets to bring one guest to experience the mission trip alongside them. GMI provides for the flights, hotel and meals for all.
During the trip, the team works together to build a humble 16’ x 20’ home for a family in need, who previously had been living in a home built of pallets and tarps with mattresses on a dirt floor. When the dwelling is complete the family has a concrete floor, windows, a locking door, as well as, dignity. Families also see social and economic impacts as a result of the build.
We can’t put it into words, but something profound happens on these annual Mexico trips. We bless a family, but we each come away with so much more – a deep gratitude, unique personal takeaways and overall team building. It changes us and binds us closer. It’s exactly why we say, bring a loved one on the trip, instead of trying to explain the significance of the experience.
Our favorite part of the trip is when we pass the keys around and each say a blessing over them, then hand them to the family to enter their new home. After, we each knock on the door and become their first guests in their new home. There is such joy in the moment for all.
Annual Organizations Supported by Project Possible
Are you a local Johnson County 501c3 charity and would like to send the Project Possible your information? Please fill out the short form below.