Article

Introducing stories about helpful people

Meet Eric Grandon, who invites other veterans and first-line responders to his farm so they can experience the healing powers of beekeeping

By Olivia Kingsley, Associate Creative Director

Published November 11, 2020
Last updated November 12, 2020

When Eric Grandon discovered beekeeping, he had no idea that the bees would give him the power to transform both his own life and the lives of many others.

After serving 20 years in the U.S. military, Eric retired to his family farm in West Virginia, but he was haunted by his experiences in combat. After a particularly harrowing flashback, he was diagnosed with PTSD.

Beekeeping was first used as rehab for soldiers suffering "shell shock" after the First World War. Finding himself suddenly at peace, Eric knew he had to help others. Now, he invites other veterans and first-line responders to his farm so they can experience the healing powers of beekeeping.

Read more about Eric's story.

We’re sharing Eric’s story on Veterans Day, in honor of the service he and so many others have provided. Laurence McKevitt, a member of Zendesk’s Global Veterans Network Employee Resource Group saw his own experience reflected in the film. “I found the video to be thought-provoking, sweet, and really truthful,” he shared. McKevitt entered the service at age 17, in Ireland, and left on his first tour of duty to Lebanon the following year. McKevitt spent 12 years in military service, including 4 tours in parts of Africa and the Middle East. “Not feeling prepared for ‘peace time’ is very true,” he said. “It took some time for me to find something to help transition from one path to another. For me it was music, studying it in depth. It helped me to feel calm and transition into a new career.”

[Related read: What we can learn from our veterans about resiliency and connection]

Helping each other help each other

We each feel called, in different times and ways, to be helpful to those around us—to our customers, our colleagues, our friends and family, and the wider community. Helping is in our connective tissue—and it’s what brings the Zendesk community together. It’s what we do, because we, and our customers, are people who want to be helpful.

While we believe software lays the foundation for great customer experiences, it’s really the attitude of our users, agents, managers—our community—that makes the change. And that helpful attitude has the potential to change the world.

Helping is in our connective tissue—and it’s what brings the Zendesk community together.

That’s why we’re launching a project to share stories like Eric’s—these aren’t your typical support stories, but instead inspiring stories about people who heed the call to help in surprising ways. And these stories are all around us. Sometimes we help each other in ways that are expected, by lending a hand or answering a question. Other times, a single act of helpfulness can take on a meaningful life of its own.

No matter the form that help takes, one thing is certain: Being helpful isn’t always easy—it can be a lot of work. That’s why we’re excited to continue sharing these stories with you, our community, to remember that we’re all in this together.

For more stories like Eric's, visit helpers.zendesk.com