Tennessee Valley Authority

Chattanooga, TN, Veterans Receive Wheelchairs Assembled by TVA Engineers

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is already pretty rooted in its community, just by the nature of the work that the agency does. So hosting a WheelCharity™ team building event seemed like a natural fit for the group. They were seeking an opportunity to build skills like creative problem solving and collaboration, and this was it. A group of about 30 engineers participated in building wheelchairs to benefit the members of the nearby American Legion Post 95.

Tennessee Valley AuthorityA New Experience for the TVA in Chattanooga, TN

The engineers of the TVA hadn’t ever participated in a team building workshop like this before. That said, they approached the day with an open mind and eagerness to do something good for their neighbors. Our simple ice breaker games went over well. They gave folks a chance to ‘warm up’ and get comfortable. Being on-site helped. Folks were in home territory, so they could concentrate on the tasks at hand.

Our participants divided themselves into several teams. They were ready to get to work, until they realized they didn’t have all the parts they needed. That’s where some of the teamwork comes in – with the WheelCharity™ program, wheelchair parts and tools are earned through team building games and activities! The mood of the room shifted quickly to one of friendly competition.

WheelCharity™ Benefits Makers and Recipients

The engineers of the TVA who worked on the WheelCharity™ program gave it their all. We were impressed to see just how many they completed in the allotted time. The group finished just before the representative from the American Legion arrived to pick up the wheelchairs, so we took them for a spin.

Actually, the point of the obstacle course we developed was to drive home just how much it affects someone’s life when mobility is an issue. With that in mind, several of the engineers attached hand-written messages of hope and encouragement to the wheelchairs they’d built. After all, the local vets who would be receiving these wheelchairs were their friends and neighbors.

TVA’s Team Building Day a Success

Phil Sumrall from the American Legion Post 95 was pleased by the number of wheelchairs he picked up. He thanked the TVA team profusely. Mr. Sumrall also shared a few stories about the vets who would be receiving these wheelchairs.

Overall, the experience helped the TVA engineers strengthen collaborative and problem solving skills while also helping local vets. We heard from several TVA participants who declared that the WheelCharity™ event was not only fun, but meaningful to them, too.