Making Connections

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Left to Right: Cary Yocum, the principal of Telescunderia, Brad Squires, Caleb Vargas Chapa
Chiapas, Mexico.

Fifteen folks were digging a pit, their shovels and pick axes taking turns against the hard earth. No, this wasn’t a prison sentence.

This was vacation.

These men and women work for Maintenance Connection, a software company that provides computer programs to help municipalities like the State of Vermont, corporations like General Electric, and outreach ministries like Young Life manage, in Young Life’s case, the maintenance of their camps.

Young Life Mexico was building a camp of their own, where this summer, kids would come to laugh, play and hear about Jesus. They’d dive in a mud pit and come out filthy and smiling.

That is, if these folks could dig the pit. Two hours in, they hadn’t tilled enough dirt to plant a garden.

When friends Chris Bucher and Brad Squires founded Maintenance Connection, it was more than a business venture. “We saw our company not as a place to make money, but a place to make a positive difference in other people’s lives,” said Squires.

A pick axe swings over a man’s head. His shirt reads, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

MC Gives Back started with a 1-1-1 program, giving away 1 percent of their profit, product and time to the community. 

In 2010, they went bigger.

Knowing little more than that Young Life was a customer, Squires sat down with the director of Young Life Expeditions, Michele Sbrana.

“After listening to his vision, we settled on Cambodia,” said Sbrana, where they set up a computer lab and painted a school. But just as significantly, they experienced Young Life, Cambodia-style.

In 2012, they traveled to Costa Rica to help a family put a roof on their house. “Young Life Expeditions is different than ordinary short-term projects. With Expeditions, you come alongside the Young Life staff who are there throughout the year,” said Squires.

“These trips have been great for team building, especially for a company like ours that doesn’t have a central office. They help integrate the idea of giving back into a person’s job, and it really makes an impact with our customers.” 

Unfortunately, their pick axes were making very little of one with the hard, Mexican dirt. “Every week, we have an internal meeting called, ‘Smarter Not Harder’ where we look for ways to offer better service to our customers. So we put our heads together and noticed a backhoe in a nearby farm. After a little negotiating and the exchange of a few pesos, a job was created and the hole was dug.” What would have taken two days was completed in two hours.

“The icing on the cake,” said Sbrana, “was later that week, while painting the outside of Escuela Telescundaria 428, the MC Team noticed the school’s computers were inadequate at best. Without being asked, these guys pooled their resources, bought and installed a brand new computer lab for the school. They really took the community by storm.

“To me, Maintenance Connection is such a great example of what it looks like to utilize the gifts and talents you have for God’s kingdom. I wish more businesses were doing what they are doing.”

“Young Life Expeditions really makes the planning easy,” said Squires, “and we know that our work will have a lasting impact.”

In 2013, 131 teams served in 37 countries and 13 locations in the United States. In 2014, 44 countries will host Expeditions groups.

To find out how your area, church or business can join Young Life Expeditions, contact Michele Sbrana at or visit

To learn more about Maintenance Connection and their MC Gives Back program, visit​.