For nearly 20 years, Dale Willis, a senior refrigeration technician at UT Martin, has used his employee benefits to help those who are less fortunate.
Willis uses his annual leave and comp time to take time off from work to go on mission trips to rebuild or repair homes. He also uses this time off to work in the homes of elderly people who need repairs to a furnace, air conditioning or other service units.
Recently, a storm blew the roof off of a woman's house, and she couldn't afford to hire laborers to replace it, so Willis put one on for her.
Coming from a family that was less fortunate, Willis appreciates how blessed he is now. The belief that "if you give, you will receive" is one he lives by, so he doesn't squander his comp time. Instead, he saves it until there is a need for his help.
Willis says he couldn't afford to help others in this way without using leave time.
"These benefits are important because there are people who are less fortunate, and because I get paid when I'm off, I'm able to use my time to help someone else," Willis said. "I am so grateful because there are so many people without a job, and I can be of help to someone in need."
"I am a service here at the university, and my benefits allow me to be a service outside of work. Having such great benefits makes me want to remain a UT employee."