It can encompass where we physically live. It can also mean being in fellowship with others that have similar interests. Within our community, we hear “give back” used in a variety of ways, but what does it mean? This quote by Denzel Washington sums it up nicely!
At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.
So much of what we do in life focuses on the individual and it starts early on! We ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Personal statistics are recorded to go along with the team’s performance in athletics. Class rankings are determined by GPA. There are so many ways that we are measured up. While competition and benchmarks are necessary, they really are not the end-all-be-all. At the end of the day, the impact we have on others within our community and how we make them feel trumps everything. This can be easily accomplished by taking the time to give back.
Everyone has the same amount of time in the day. Not a shocking statement, I know! However, we can quickly fill this time with all the things we need and want to get done and before you know it, we are “too busy” and “don’t have time”. The best way to fix this is schedule time to volunteer! You are now committed and can be held accountable. Just like anything else, if it is a priority, it will get done.
Find something you enjoy and look for related opportunities. Grab a friend and do it together! Here are some examples:
- Help at the Humane Society if you like animals.
- Pick up trash along the road if you enjoy being outside and exercising.
- Coach a team if you enjoy athletics.
Team members at our agency are invited to volunteer regularly. For the two or more hours of time, the team member receives an additional two hours of paid time off during the month. We are committed to our community and this is one way we encourage everyone to get involved.
Host an Event
Putting together an event can be more involved than simply showing up to volunteer. However, it a great way to provide a volunteer opportunity for others and raise awareness for a cause.
Ice cream on a hot summer day to raise money for a good cause sounded like a great opportunity for us! We invited the community to our office’s porch on July 23 to raise money for the Braden Kramer Foundation. Our goal was to raise awareness for childhood cancer and give back locally. This foundation specifically helps families within the Findlay and surrounding area who are dealing with childhood cancer.
The majority of the planning and inviting started about a month before the event. Ice cream machines were booked early and additional supplies were purchased the day before. Over the course of four hours we had great conversations with others within the community. We were able to foster a relationship between a contact at the Foundation and a grandmother whose granddaughter is currently fighting cancer. In addition to awareness, we collected donations to help support these families.
Pay it Forward
This often leads to a chain reaction! Pay for a coffee for the person behind you. Leave a nice card for someone. Drop a gift card to a young family at a restaurant.
We really have no idea what is going on in someone else’s life. While everything may be smooth sailing for one person, another is getting knocked down time and time again. Be the reason someone smiles today. Help make them believe that everything will be okay.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
These commendable actions do not go unnoticed. Relationships are built. Excitement surrounds the community. Others feel inspired. Younger generations, including our own children, follow this same mindset of helping others. Take, for instance, our recent ice cream benefit to support the Braden Kramer Foundation. Corbin, son of Managing Partner – Ryan Pessell, and Cora, daughter of Brand Manager – Kari Colman, hosted their very own lemonade stands and gave all the donations to the cause. They have learned by example how to put others before themselves.
Responsibility is to treat others like we would like to be treated. In the end, it really does not matter what we have physically. What DOES matter is how we give of ourselves: our talents, our time, our resources. Giving back is an act of kindness and it goes a long way!
Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
– Mark Twain
It really does not take much. A smile. A wave. A hug. Holding the door. Genuinely taking the time to visit someone. Being a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Delivering a meal. These things carry on and on and on. We hear about all the negatives going on around us, but we can still have hope in everyone, especially our younger generation. They are watching us. What are they learning from you?