Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Joey Buck, Dollywood’s Chaplain, about the theme park’s value and mission of serving our community.
Dollywood doesn’t have a lot of jobs. Jobs can be boring. Jobs often have little significance. Jobs are limited and finite. Jobs come to an end. It’s not a job that we really want. What most of us desire is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people we meet, to contribute to the greater good of those around us through relationships, expertise, and experience.
For many of our employees the job we do is only a small part of the reason we choose to return to work day in and day out. While at Dollywood you may hear us refer to each other as Hosts instead of employees. It is no coincidence that since our beginning we chose to call each other Hosts as it better describes what we are here to do. It is our pleasure to serve each of you as our special Guest while you are here.
But it is not only here at Dollywood that we get to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. We realize that the experience, expertise, and relationships our Hosts have developed because of Dollywood enables us to impact our community through service and charitable giving. It wasn’t long ago that our Maintenance and Construction team learned of a simple kitchen remodeling project which a single mother in the area needed to make her home safe for her and her children. They partnered with LIVE-IT Ministries in town to take care of her need.
Our team was not satisfied with a simple job of patching and fixing. When we completed the project this mother had not just a safe home but a very special place for her and her children to grow together. Why settle for a kitchen? The next year they helped build a tiny-home for one of our own Hosts.
Our Hosts are empowered to see a need and find a solution. This is true not just to you on one of your visits to any of our properties but also to the community where we make our home. Our Hosts have collected thousands of pairs of socks, school supplies, hundreds of shoes, countless numbers of canned foods, given of their time, talent, and resources.
Working at Dollywood is a good thing. It’s a great place to work! But even better than going to work is knowing that I will be able to make a positive difference for those in my community. It is only human to desire to belong to something great and contribute in a significant way to bettering the lives of those around us. It is only human to have a job. But it is not so much about what we do but rather what God is doing through us.