Sunday Spotlight is a bi-weekly publication highlighting individual Bekins’ employees, agents and drivers and the unique talents, interests and hobbies each has.
This week, follow along as we feature the philanthropic work and mission trip of Luann Sauer, Tech Support at the Bekins Corporate Office.
Finding Her Mission
Looking down the bathtub drain and realizing there were no pipes – just a hole leading to the ground underneath a family’s home – was the first of many sobering surprises Luann Sauer would encounter on her one-week mission trip to Cranks Creek, Kentucky.
The entire group of volunteers.
Having heard about this trip for several years before attending and aware of the great need of the Appalachian region, Luann didn’t hesitate to take a week off work and serve as her church’s inaugural ambassador for what she now hopes will be an annual trip.
With more than 70 participants on the trip — 20 adult supervisors and 50+ middle school-aged youth volunteers — Luann served as a team leader. Assigned to one specific family, she guided a group of young adults as they replaced roofs, repaired ceilings, repainted houses, built railings and organized rooms. “What I didn’t expect to do, though, was 32 loads of laundry!” Luann said with a laugh.
Work and Play
Luann’s small group of middle school-aged youth.
Working from 9 o’clock in the morning until 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Luann supervised her team of middle school-aged students as they operated power tools, climbed up on top of roofs, and interacted with the residents of Cranks Creek. “I knew this was a great opportunity to get the kid’s from my home church, Bethany Christian, involved in a cause that’s bigger than themselves. After seeing what this week was like, I can’t wait to bring all of them down here next year. It will give them a sense of responsibility and accountability and show them that there’s a whole other place where people don’t live like they live.”
More important, though, than getting all the work done was building relationships with both the people of the community and the other volunteers. When asked her favorite part of the week-long trip, Luann said without skipping a beat, “The fellowship.” Even though she was only in the community for a week, she was able to forge a close bond with the family with which she worked directly. “We’re friends on Facebook and are keeping in touch that way. The three kids in the family also all colored me a picture when I left. It was a really special moment.” The evenings also were a memorable time for Luann. The volunteers took time to debrief the day and share their favorite moments. “It’s amazing how quickly people can bond together when they’re working towards the common good of others.”
Importance of Involvement
In addition to volunteering for this mission trip, Luann is an active member of her church, located on the Southside of Indianapolis. She is the Youth Leader, teaches Sunday school, is in charge of fundraisers, and also helps to feed the neighborhood children every Wednesday night at her church.
Luann has been with Wheaton Van Lines (parent company of Bekins) since 2004, helping with tech support and other computer issues that pop up in the corporate office. She is married, has two children, three Chihuahuas, one cat and resides on the Southside of Indianapolis.