© wetzkaz | AdobeStock

For 40 years, Viking Pest Control of Liberty Corner, N.J., has been providing commercial and residential pest control services for customers throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. To celebrate this milestone, Viking Pest Control decided to give back to the many communities that helped them grow over the years.

“Viking wanted to do something more than just commemorate our anniversary,” Danielle Covello, digital marketing manager of Viking Pest Control, said. “But not just with donating to one organization in one location, but rather with a unique opportunity that will allow us to go above and beyond and help multiple regions with various organizations.”

This unique opportunity turned into the “40 for 40” program, which was a collaboration between Viking’s leadership team and employees across multiple Viking Pest Control locations. The goal of the program is to conduct 40 community service events that give back to the community members that have been loyal to Viking Pest Control, including organizations such as the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

“As a company with offices several miles apart, we felt this would be a great way for each of our various locations to connect locally in the communities they service and live in,” Covello said.

Viking Pest’s staff donated lunch to several local hospitals to show appreciation for their hard work.

Viking has a history of giving back by participating in local community service events. In 2018, the company donated a storage shed to the Marlton School District and conducted free chemical safety training to the Audubon Fire Department. However, Viking has never tried to perform 40 community service events in one year.

POSITIVE PUBLIC REACTION. Covello said the communities Viking serves are enthusiastic about the 40 for 40 program, so much so that the company is considering how they can continue their work into 2021.

One of the most rewarding parts of this program, Covello said, occurred when Viking donated a series of children’s entomology books to the Free Library of Philadelphia.

 

“While it was one of many planned events, the gratitude we received from the staff was overwhelming. It was sheer appreciation from the library staff,” Covello said.

Throughout the summer, Viking hosted blood drives and collected items such as food, clothing, pet supplies and toys. Employees also participated in community service projects, such as Habitat for Humanity and park clean-ups. “We are very proud of our team’s dedication,” Covello said.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES. With many of Viking’s scheduled community service events involving large groups of people, Covello said the team has had to make adjustments in order to continue their service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been challenging to complete our scheduled outreach events,” Covello said. “But we have taken this opportunity to think outside the box and are pushing forward.”

In addition to rescheduling some events to a later date, Viking Pest Control also has added some new events to help those most affected during the pandemic.

In April, Viking members supported local restaurants in their service region that were no longer receiving their normal volume of customers by purchasing meals from them. Viking then donated the meals to health-care workers at six local hospitals.

 
In addition to donations to hospitals (left), in February, Viking employees donated children’s entomology books to the Free Library of Philadelphia to help further education about insects (right).

“We also donated Viking’s Pro-Clean Disinfectant and Sanitization Service to Community Volunteer Fire Company #1, located in Wayne, N.J.,” Covello said. “Pro-Clean sanitization treatment is effective at dramatically reducing the number of bacteria and viruses from common colds, Coronavirus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Influenza A, H1N1 Virus and more.”

Covello said that the 40 for 40 program is the perfect way to celebrate the company’s anniversary because it shows what pest control is truly about.

“It can be easy for a company to simply place their logo on a t-shirt and say they have been in business for X number of years, but pest control is about more than that,” she said. “Yes, pest management is important to everyday life, but bigger than pest control is helping others that are in need.”

The author is a New York City-based freelancer.