Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giving Back

It’s that time of the year – the holidays are at our doorstep, we are wrapping up the end of the year and our social calendars are rapidly filling with holiday get-togethers and various gatherings. It’s also the time of year when we are faced with the harsh reality that there are people out there who are far worse off than we are… and given the state of our economy the last few years, I am sure the numbers of those “less fortunate” have made a drastic climb. The holiday season isn’t the only time we are aware of the hardships of others, but I think it’s the time of year most people pay attention and acknowledge there are people out there who need a helping hand.

Helping is Easy
As the President of my own company, I find myself in a position where I can help others through both my personal and professional arena.  To help an individual, a family, a cause or an organization is easy. It doesn’t really cost much time or money. Its rewards are substantial and the impact on the people who benefit from your contribution can be life-changing.

Open the Doors and They Will Open Their Hearts
At TranzAct we participate in several service projects throughout the year. We don’t require our employees to participate, but we do open the doors for them. We have held food drives, shoe drives, and mitten drives; we have adopted families and sent care packages to soldiers. We have also participated in Light the Night for Leukemia & Lymphoma, the Diabetes Walk for Life, and donated to the American Red Cross for Haiti. Right now we are in the midst of doing our Thanksgiving Food Drive for the local township. In a little over a week, we have filled ten big boxes of food to donate.

Each year for Christmas we adopt families from our local township. In the last three years we have adopted over ten families. We receive Christmas wish lists and people purchase things from the list to contribute. After my employees have contributed, I fulfill the remaining items on the wish lists. One year we were able to provide three refurbished computer systems to the families we adopted.

The Rewards
For me, the true reward comes through the thank you letters we receive and the reminder to be grateful and appreciative of what we have.

One year we received a thank you letter from the mother of one of the families we adopted. She has six children and was so thankful that her family was even chosen, as she feared her family would not get adopted. Another thank you letter came from parents who could not afford to buy their children a computer, and a third letter that explained the little bit we did for them meant the world to their family.

The letters are always a humbling reminder that we are able to impact someone’s life in such a meaningful manner. It’s amazing, the things we may take for granted, or feel entitled to and then we are reminded of how the little things we do in life may matter the most.

If you want to get into the spirit of giving, or find opportunities to open the doors for your co-workers, or maybe even a group of friends or family, look  for places in your area that need help. If you can’t find something in your area, there are organizations that have ‘give’ projects nationally, year round. Some our favorites include:

  1. The Ronald McDonald House Pop Tab Collections where funds from recycling pop tops go towards supporting sick children and their families
  2. Yoplait Lids for Life for Breast Cancer
  3. Tom’s Shoes “One for One” program – for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to a child in need, and many others.
All it takes is one person to put the wheels in motion and every one else will follow. Sometimes, it’s just the small efforts and contributions we make, individually or as a group, that can make a difference in someone else’s life.