Everything we do, we do for others. That is the heartbeat of what Dale Vermillion has built at Vermillion Consulting, Inc. (VCI)—a company defined by its commitment to give without restraint. A company that not only founded Mortgage Professionals Providing Hope (MPPH), but that 10 years later still pays its overhead so that its donors’ dollars go directly to helping those in need.
As employees at VCI, we get opportunities every week, month, and year to pour into the lives of the impoverished, the broken, and the abused.
From spending a rain-soaked day together moving a homeless family off the streets, to having a portion of our paychecks donated to provide housing and education around the world, to visiting places like India and Guatemala to personally confront poverty and the families and communities it plagues. Our team isn’t just asked to care about those in need, we’re invited to witness—firsthand—the hardships they endure and to ask ourselves, “What can we do to help them overcome?”
At VCI, we are challenged to see ourselves as agents of change, and to ensure that business is always done for the profit—never the expense—of others. We’re taught to believe that there is a balance to be walked in meeting the demands of the workplace while seeing to the needs of our local and global community. And, every day, Dale asks us to work toward that balance, taking time to celebrate the days when we get it “just right.”
Having been in business since 1994, and having founded MPPH in 2006, there’s no quick way to sum up the impact VCI has had on those it has served over the decades. But, there’s a telling story that we think exemplifies the spirit of the at-all-costs generosity Dale has instilled into his company, and us.
We want to tell you the story of Terupatama.
In 1999, Dale heard a speech about some orphan children in a place called Repalle, a small, agrarian town in rural India. It was a type of speech he’d heard a dozen or so times before about other issues in other places around the world.
But, for some reason, this speech was different. The stories of these children’s hardship pierced Dale in a way that, for the first time, forced him to truly confront the pain so many endure in their daily lives.
Overcome by the images of hopelessness the speaker had projected across the wall, tears began streaming down Dale’s face, falling silently onto his new suit—the one he now felt shameful for owning.
For Dale, something changed in that moment of self-indignation, of powerlessness, of rage.
After the speech came to a close, Dale waited impatiently for the service to come to an end. As soon as it did, Dale beelined for the man responsible for his discomfort, intent on asking the question that had been playing on repeat in his mind for the last 40 minutes, a question all of us should be just intent on asking ourselves:
“What can I do?”
Much to Dale’s surprise, the speaker’s answer was simple: “Pick a child.” Confused, Dale followed the man’s gaze toward the tabletop that separated them—where dozens of children’s photos lay in neatly organized rows around a flyer that read, “Become a Child Sponsor, Today!”
And that’s exactly what Dale did. Sifting through the names of kids representing India’s lowest caste, Dale found the object (and future catalyst) of his goodwill: a little girl with looping pig tails, beautiful dark skin, and a life-giving smile named Terupatama—Teru, for short.
That picture of Teru made its way onto Dale’s refrigerator door, where it stayed until just a few short years later Dale was able to replace it with a new picture: one of him and Teru standing huddled together, their faces beaming from when—just moments before—Teru had taken a sip of clean water for the first time in her life.
They say “a picture’s worth a thousand words;” but, so often in Dale’s case a picture is worth a thousand acts of kindness in service of those who need him most.
That fist picture of Teru gave Dale the courage to travel the world to meet her, and to see India for himself, which in turn gave him the conviction to: work tirelessly to unite his peers through acts of service and commitments to give; sustain a nonprofit that serves the industry, at the expense of his company; make the central tenant of his training a call to “in all things, put others before yourself”; and to teach people the life-changing power of taking an OthersFirst approach to everything in life.
At VCI, we believe that pictures have power because we know the impact a picture of a little girl in rural India had on the man who’s made each of us better men and women today.
That’s why, should you have the opportunity to visit our office, you’d be surrounded by pictures of the people and communities our company has had the pleasure of putting first over the years.
Some of those pictures you’d see capture our own Terupatama stories—the origins of our own personal awakenings to the heartache so many carry, and the role each of us can play in bringing about a better, brighter future for them and their loved ones.
We are all immensely grateful to have the satisfaction that comes with knowing no matter the climate of the industry or the success of our business, we share in the legacy Dale is creating every time a new photo goes on the wall of hope being restored to even someone who desperately needs it.
Collectively written by the staff of VCI,
Beau, Jake, Lynette, and Michael