We’ve been thinking a lot about service this week. Veterans Day was on Wednesday and as you probably already know, we’re a military family. Unsurprisingly, acts of service is the family’s language of love in many ways and if you spend any time around them you’ll see it pop up several times a day.
Few people exemplify this core principle, better than Kelly Hoyt. At Green Goo his title is VP of Strategic Operations and he’s married to Jodi, CEO and one of founders, but what he does and is for this company is so much more. He’s the poppa bear. He takes care of us.
Kelly wears so many hats that it's a little silly. He’s able to do this because he’s brilliant, endlessly curious, solution minded, and forward thinking, but more than that he’s able to do it because he literally wakes up every day and asks himself, “How can I spread goodness today?”.
Kelly probably hates this. I think most days he’d prefer to just do the work and remain unsung. It’s not about him after all. So when I read his entry in the series, A season of Service, I wasn’t at all surprised to find him shining the light on someone else. What is delightful about his writing is that you can really ‘hear’ Kelly’s voice coming through. Reading it is kind of like standing next to him at the campfire. It’s a rare treat and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
A Season of Service
By Kelly Hoyt
As summer wound down and fall colors began to emerge my thoughts, as usual, found their way back to a more anxious side of my psyche. Winter’s coming! It will be here soon! The field needs a mow, the gutters mended, the plow fixed, the coop cleaned, …oh ya Covid, racial tension and indescribable wildfires!
That anxious energy is so powerful and I need to put it to use! A deep breath, well maybe two of those, and a short meditation on what gets me out of bed each day. Spread Goodness! I repeat it to myself with each deep breath “Spread Goodness” and let my anxious nerves calm. I need inspiration and I need it now!
I think through my list of hero’s. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, cousin Stephen…that’ll do. Cousin Stephen spreadin’ goodness. He’ll inspire me today! He’s tough as Batman, better lookin’ than superman and has a heart bigger than Wonder Woman.
I’m thankful for people like Stephen, that put everyone else before themselves. They dedicate their lives, livelihood, body and soul to helping others. That’s my cuz! If you ask him how he’s doing, most days, it’ll come out calm and slow with a bit of a southern drawl and a sideways smile “Fair-to-Middling”.
I know what he means, “It's been a day Kelly, my inspector was late, the sub didn’t show, covid’s killing my volunteer count and my permits are slowin’ me down and just tickin’ me off. But, ya know what, I got in a couple good swings today. I bloodied my knuckles a bit, but we moved a family into their home this week, we got the green light on a new development, and ya know my regulars showed up and worked their asses off to finish a flood damage repair.”
Stephen got his start helping folks down in Mississippi. In the wake of Katrina he was on the front lines rebuilding homes with his dad Uncle Mark and the other volunteers and staff at Habitat for Humanity.
Stephen continues to follow in his dad’s footsteps, but I tell ya what, he’s forging his own path too. He helped the Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Tuscaloosa, AL after the tornadoes devastated the city and surrounding areas in 2011 and even did a blitz build with President Jimmy Carter. He eventually landed here in Colorado unemployed and ready to help Lyons rebuild after the flood of 2013. He didn’t have any money and didn’t ask to be paid. He just got up and started working.
Eventually, St.Vrain Habitat for Humanity brought him on and he started building homes again. Helping families realize a new opportunity for their future. You might say service is in his blood, but it's in his family too! His dad Mark and brother Daniel work with the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity and his wife Nicole works with the Denver Habitat for Humanity. And let’s give thanks for Aunt Annie’s effort too, as her boys are building she’s out there lookin’ after the elderly and homeless.
It's an honor and privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with my cuz while we spread some goodness.
St. Vrain Habitat has not let Covid stop them from spreading goodness! They have been able to move 6 families into homes since the pandemic started. Get in on the goodness and spread some yourself! You can donate directly to the St. Vrain Chapter at www.stvrainhabitat.org/online-donations