It may not seem like a long time until you think of it in terms of a 40-hour work week, times 12½ weeks.
Or in terms of nearly 200 people bonding together for three hours of teamwork at Bonton Farms in southeast Dallas.
The Mavericks’ front-office staff spent Thursday doing an assortment of jobs at the 40-acre farm ranging from fence-removal to goat-pen cleaning and plenty of other necessary tasks during a day of service that included everybody from CEO Cynt Marshall to volunteers from every department in the Mavericks’ organization.
It’s part of the NBA franchise’s Mavs Take Action, a commitment to giving back to the community, which is a year-round effort to provide countless hours of service.
“When we have a community that honestly has been ignored for a very long time and when we have people and organizations north of I-30 come down to experience our mission, what we’re doing is actually spreading a new (message of) social responsibility,” said Davidson Sutherland, Bonton Farms’ coordinator of volunteers. “A big part of what we do with volunteerism is talk about the impact we have on one another. Our world gets bigger when we do something we haven’t done before or meet people we’ve never encountered before.
“A part of our story at Bonton Farms now is the Dallas Mavericks have come down and invested with us. Now, what do we do from here? It’s about continuing relationships because one of our core values is unity.
“At Bonton Farms, we believe we cannot do our mission alone. We need the entire city of Dallas to participate and to have a major player like the Dallas Mavericks participate in that is a huge opportunity for the rest of Dallas to see what it means to serve and also invest in the community that needs the city to help bring change to the world.”
Bonton is an area that for years had been ravaged by generational poverty and lacking in basic human necessities. Before Bonton Farms was established, healthy food in the area was non-existent. The cardiovascular disease rate was 54 percent higher than the rest of Dallas. Diabetes was 45 percent higher.
So Bonton Farms provides nutritional counseling and general health and wellness guides for locals.
“It’s an honor to be able to work with an organization like Bonton Farms that does so much for the community,” Marshall said. “And I can’t be prouder of our organization.
“If we can serve together, we can work better together and serve our customers better. I want to say thank you to our fabulous team members for caring about the Mavs and caring about each other.”
The Mavericks also made a $10,000 donation to Bonton Farms as part of their day of service.
A team of 20 or so employees was in charge of tearing out a fence that had been in place for many years. With critters scurrying, they yanked at the deeply imbedded fence and slowly got it out of the ground and separated from T-posts.
It was one of the most challenging jobs of the day.
“We got it done,” said Brad Freeman, the Mavericks’ senior director of Mavs Academy and Mavs Gaming. “It’s amazing what you can do when you have great teamwork.”
The Mavericks will be entering the NBA’s season of giving in November, when they have numerous Thanksgiving initiatives, including a turkey giveaway that handed out more than 4,000 dinners last year at Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano.
At Bonton Farms, the workers were joined by the Mavericks’ ManiAACs and the D-Town Crew, the official dance team of the Mavericks.
“I would say we have over 100 a year, corporations that come in,” Sutherland said. “Individual volunteers are a fantastic and we need it – but with all the organizations every year, that changes the dynamic, the economics in Dallas. Hundreds of organizations come out every year. And more than 3,000 individuals.”
Bonton Farms has 53 full-time employees and many more apprentices that help. But they rely heavily on volunteer workers.
“How do you quantify a life?” Sutherland said. “We have had CEOs out here and, literally, homeless people, too. And they all have made a difference.”
Share and comment