Marriott 25: It Doesn’t Stop at 25,000 Hours

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Mike and Laurie Hoer—3 hours.

Don’t let the low number fool you. BYU MBA grad Mike Hoer and his wife, Laurie, dedicated two whole months to service this year—and they plan on doing a lot more.

“Great blessings come to the people that you’re serving, but they also come to you and your family,” he says. “We’ve tried to make service a part of our lives.”

Despite only reporting three hours for planting a tree and helping with trail maintenance, the Hoers spent hundreds of hours this winter in Mnyenzeni, Kenya, where they worked on humanitarian projects with nonprofit organizations Koins for Kenya and Feed the World.

Koins for Kenya, a Farmington, Utah-based organization, provides schools in Kenya with books, desks, and other supplies. Feed the World teaches communities agricultural skills to promote good nutrition and self-reliance.

Mike, who worked for more than thirty years in agribusiness, used his experience to evaluate and provide analysis for agricultural projects. Laurie spent hours in the local women’s clinic, and together the two helped the town build and improve water collecting systems.

Mike says he worked closely with many local families and enjoyed becoming familiar with their culture and traditions. One of his favorite moments was being invited to attend the death anniversary of a village elder.

“We were able to go and see their celebration and dancing,” he says. “It was very special to be part of that, and quite an honor to be invited.”

To continue serving and learning, Mike and Laurie hope to dedicate three months out of every year to service.

“Service makes us realize that we should be grateful for a lot more,” he says. “And it just seems like a worthwhile way to spend your time.”

They are still considering their options for service projects next year, but whatever they choose, you can be sure the hours will stack up.