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There are hundreds, even thousands of charities that work tirelessly to ensure that we take care of those who need information, guidance, and help to get through their daily lives. The reasons that we give back are infinite. Whether you feel compelled based on personal experience or because it makes you feel better – giving back is an essential part of contributing to society.

As a company, we give back for various reasons. But simply put, it’s just the right thing to do. We have been able to build a successful organization with passionate people who allow us to give back in many ways. It is our responsibility to show our appreciation for our success and lead by example. It shows our staff how passionate we are, and in turn allows them to be passionate about causes that are important to them.

In the month of November, as the holidays approached, we wanted to bring attention to the fact that many people would not be eating holiday meals at the same time that many of us were preparing to head off to our families for the holiday season. In fact, many would not be eating meals at all. It was important for us to reach out to a population that can be forgotten because they can’t necessarily be seen on the street or in a soup kitchen. Our decision to support Meals on Wheels in November helped us to understand that many older Americans are unable to leave their homes to shop for or get a nutritional meal.

Our goal was to donate at least $10,000 to the organization. We wanted to give our staff the opportunity to be part of this donation by giving them a competition that we knew they would take to heart. And we were right. $10,400 later, we proudly presented a check just in time for the New Year. There was no prize for them. There was no personal incentive to work harder. There was no monetary reward. There was no trip or fancy dinner. But our employees went above and beyond to make sure that we hit that goal.

Last winter, I took an eighth grade class into New York City to help set up a soup kitchen and feed the needy. It was a great experience for the kids and myself because everyone was so appreciative. And there was a realization that we are all people. We are all the same. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but everyone needs to be fed and needs to know where their next meal is coming from. No one in this country should be wondering about whether they will be hungry tomorrow.

Giving back to Meals on Wheels made us understand that we were helping those who could have very well been our parents or grandparents. And this understanding gives us the insight to appreciate not only our meals, but our families, our health, and ability to get up every day without the fear of not knowing where we will sleep, how we will eat, and if we will be safe as night falls again.

Coincidentally, as I’m writing these thoughts, this was posted by my church in an email today. Whether you are religious our not – the idea is universal.

“We need to feed the hungry in the name of Jesus, and that is a high honor and call. We need to make sure that none of our neighbors are ever turned away when they look to the church for help.” – Timothy Cardinal Dolan

I am so proud of our staff for considering it an honor to give back. I am so proud that they went above and beyond their normal work to ensure that we could reach our goal. And I’m so proud that we are able, as a company, to help those that need it most.

Join us this month as we take on our next challenge for Cycle For Survival. Every one of our offices has put together a spinning team to raise money and ride against rare cancers. And once again, I know they will make me proud to have such a dedicated team of people who are professionally and personally so passionate about giving back.

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