Alex’s 30 by 30 challenge
This is what we have going on, here’s how you can help.
The words were music to Alex Butterfield’s ears.
He’d written to dozens of charities volunteering his services in whatever capacity they saw fit.
His hope: to help 30 organisations before he turns 30 on November 10. He got the idea from ESPN’s documentary series, 30 For 30.
“I love a challenge,” Mr Butterfield said. “Towards the end of last year my wife Alanna and I were discussing what to do to celebrate reaching that milestone. I’m not a guy who has to have big parties and go all out so my Christian faith played a big role in my decision. I am far off from Jesus, but it is definitely an inspiration for me when I look at His ministry: how can I serve for the betterment of our community here?”
He got hooked on volunteering while a student at Warwick Academy, initially helping out at Agape House and then with various youth organisations.
“I started because it was a requirement in school — you have to give a number of community service hours — but I really had a great experience,” he said.
Jenice Germain at the Centre on Philanthropy helped connect him with charities for his latest cause.
“I looked through all the organisations and started e-mailing, explaining what I was doing, and e-mails started coming back to me: this is what we have going on, here’s how you can help,” Mr Butterfield said.
The Bermuda National Trust was the first to take him up on his offer. He joined the charity as it cleared the Dennis Sherwin Nature Reserve at Warwick Pond last month.
“I did a lot of heavy lifting, some chopping, it was great. I’d never been there before and it was nice meeting a lot of different people.”
Said BNT executive director Bill Zuill: “It was a pleasure to have Alex take part in our inaugural Another National Trust Service project. As one of the few adults who came to the event, he was a great help in clearing out branches and invasive plants from the reserve and opening up vistas so nature lovers can see the pond. We hope to see Alex again when we hold our second ANTS event at the Royal Naval Cemetery in Dockyard on February 25 when we will be waterproofing the gazebo.
“It would be wonderful for Bermuda if there were more people like Alex who gave up their time to help to make the island a better place.”
The 29-year-old is a relationship manager in the investment centre at Butterfield Bank. He also helps out with his family’s construction company, Butterfield Excavation, and is studying to get his chartered financial analysis designation.
Despite those commitments, he felt compelled to give his “time, energy and resources in an intentional way”.
“Everybody has different commitments but I find people prioritise what’s important for them,” he said. “In this case it was important enough for me to set aside two or three hours over a weekend.
“I hope that through this story, someone is challenged, that it encourages others to put themselves forward, to give consideration to others who might not be as well off in the community.
“My family was also a big inspiration; observing them being philanthropic in different situations. Most recently they organised a clean-up at the Hands of Love Ministry in my neighbourhood. It was a big undertaking and all my family was involved.”
His administrative work for the Seniors Learning Centre enabled him to tick a second charity off his list.
“There’s still a lot of spaces to be filled before I reach my target of 30,” he said. “The idea was to do three per month, preferably over the weekends, but I am flexible if there’s an event happening at a specific time. I agreed to volunteer with whoever responded. I wanted to work with charities who might not get as much funding or media exposure or charities where I could be hands-on. I didn’t just want to do a tag day but help in a tangible way — not that there’s anything wrong with handing out tags.”
• Contact Mr Butterfield at email@example.com
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