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  • Doug Smith

Helping others by making subs


Making Subs

Each year, the charity group at St. Patrick Church hosts a sub sale to benefit the soup kitchen and food pantry in downtown Columbus. Since 2012, I have helped organize this fundraiser, and have sold approximately 400 subs each year. Over the years, we have fine-tuned the conveyor-belt style of sub making, and have continually improved the process and the quality of the product. To improve the process means to make more profit, which means more donations go to the soup kitchen.

This is true in government as well. When we improve the government processes and systems, we improve customer service, decrease costs, and encourage innovation. Last summer, I helped lead a task force that identified $1.3 million of waste annually in one department of one state agency. The task force used Lean Six Sigma methods to identify waste and determine process improvements without putting anyone's job at risk. Imagine all the departments in all the state agencies. Each one has some potential waste and process improvement. Sometimes, departments just need a hand to improve their operations, and it starts with someone volunteering to change state government.

Back to the subs. We host the sub sale the Saturday following Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons. I have always pushed for hosting it two days post-Thanksgiving because I think it’s appropriate to give thanks by volunteering and helping others. The money we collect and the extra subs we make benefit the people in the church neighborhood who need a helping hand. Things aren’t always easy for people. Sometimes, people just need a hand, and it starts with someone volunteering.


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