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Doug Pitt, ServiceWorld Computer Center LLC co-owner
Doug Pitt, ServiceWorld Computer Center LLC co-owner

Philanthropic Business of the Year Winner: ServiceWorld Computer Center LLC

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For 19 years, ServiceWorld Computer Center LLC has provided information technology services and support to the Ozarks business community.

“We’ve become oftentimes the computer department for any kind of company, small or big. If it revolves around the computer, we’re involved,” says ServiceWorld co-owner Doug Pitt.

And since the beginning, ServiceWorld’s leaders and employees have thrown their support behind philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, starting with a program called Tech of the Day.

ServiceWorld staff refurbished about 500 computers for Springfield Public Schools to prevent them from becoming outmoded and keep them in the classrooms.

Today, ServiceWorld and its employees are involved in a wide scope of projects, from helping to meet health, hunger and hygiene needs of impoverished students through the nonprofit Care to Learn, a two-year-old program that has paid for more than 25,000 requests made by area schoolchildren to raising money through a dodgeball tournament to benefit K-Life, an interdenominational Christian ministry.

 “We spend so much time together. The people you work with become a kind of extended family with you,” Pitt says. “Doing humanitarian projects makes a better life experience.”

The company also makes monetary donations, but Pitt says rather than setting a specific budget, they look for needs and opportunities to fulfill, to the tune of “tens of thousands of dollars annually.”
The company, he says, was a substantial donor in helping Ozarks Honor Flight launch its program, which takes World War II veterans to visit memorials in Washington, D.C.

There’s also plenty of donated manpower. Pitt said on the company’s award application that the ServiceWorld staff donates more than 1,000 hours a year to the nonprofit sector.

Pitt wrote that he “would not begin to know the value of time and lost revenue on 1,000 man hours,” and said he doesn’t want to know, because he’s committed to accommodating employees’ desires to
participate in projects and fundraisers.

Jessica Lakin, ServiceWorld’s office manager, says making time for the community is simply a matter of juggling.

“If there’s someone taking care of a (charitable) project, then we handle the slack with our customers,” she says. “That’s first and foremost … making sure that the charity stuff isn’t taking away from our customers.”

Pitt says he’s felt the toll of that juggling a few times.

“There are days – possibly a week – when I didn’t touch ServiceWorld business. I’ve lost sleep over it at times thinking we’ve got to rein it in,” he says, adding that somehow, it all tends to work out.
Staff members also are willing to put in extra time on the clock to give co-workers the time they need to volunteer.

“Sometimes, you have to put in a few extra hours, but that’s OK. Look at what became of it. That’s kind of priceless. It’s a good feeling to know that hey, I did something – even if it wasn’t direct – to help someone else,” Lakin says.

In addition to causes supported by the company, employees also are able to choose which organizations and programs they’ll support individually. Lakin says she is particularly committed to homelessness, and Pitt is chairman of the city’s Homeless Task Force and serves on several advisory boards.

All efforts, no matter how great or small, are important to the company’s culture of giving.

“We’re not keeping score, whether it’s a big project like Care to Learn or participating in a dodgeball tournament,” he says.[[In-content Ad]]

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