It’s crazy how hectic our lives can be. We get so caught up in the day-to-day activities and tasks that we rarely have a chance to get to know each other, or even relax. That’s why we at the Durham Chamber created the PBM.

What’s a PBM? PBMs are planned bonding moments. Yes, we even schedule time to get to know one another at the Chamber! We started doing PBMs about two years ago. They have ranged from a number of activities from hanging out at a local restaurant or bar, learning about cool initiatives in the community and even office chair polo (yes…you read correctly).

This time, our PBM took a different approach. On Aug. 16, our staff volunteered at Urban Ministries of Durham to serve dinner as a part of the organization’s Third Tuesdays Together initiative. The program, held the third Tuesday of each month, provides businesses the opportunity to engage with UMD and its mission and goals by sharing a meal with those that utilize UMD’s services.

We all recognized how important our service would be for the evening, but I don’t think we really understood what it would do for our staff. It was a great teambuilding exercise for us and we truly worked together as a unit (there is lots of coordination that must take place when spooning green beans and potato salad on a plate and doing it in a timely fashion). We bonded on a different level (not the typical teamwork to take John out with a foam bat) and we had a great time doing it.  Most importantly, us coming together brightened many faces and made a difference…even if it was for just a moment.  I believe our PBM strengthened our crew and put new perspective on how we spend our time and get to know each other.

We made a huge impact on Tuesday, and we could not have done it without the help of some of our Durham Chamber members. Special thanks to 604 West Morgan, Bojangles (Hillsborough Road), Chick-fil-A (Hillsborough Road), Jason’s Deli, Sam’s Club, Texas Roadhouse, Watts Grocery and Locopops for donating food for T3. The spread was awesome and oh so very delicious (and very hard for us to not take a slice of pie, a Mexican chocolate Locopop or a handful of nuggets)!  We could not have done it without the generous support of these companies. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are already talking about when we can do it again. Not sure if your business has your own version of a PBM, but I hope that you consider spending that time to help our neighbors in need. In our effort to help someone else, we really helped ourselves!

~Sheena J. Cooper