GIVING BACK. REFLECTIONS FROM BRIAN BERK
A few weeks ago, I attended my daughter’s Junior High School graduation. Preparing myself for the never-ending speeches by school administrators, I was pleasantly surprised by one part of the presentation that took me by surprise. I had an overwhelming sense of pride to learn that these fourteen year old young adults were not only being taught how to be charitable, but that many of them took leadership roles and were self-motivated to take part in charities and causes all on their own! The causes ranged from volunteering for Feed my Starving Children to raising money for children with cleft lip and palate. I, myself was also able to participate in helping the class make and package food to be sent to underdeveloped nations through Feed our Starving Children.
I am not sure how many of you are sports fans, but I personally felt a huge loss with the death of “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali. Ali’s larger than life persona not only talked the talk, but also walked the walk, backing up all that he said with conviction and action. I have really enjoyed reading about the man beyond the gloves. Ali was a philanthropic man and was quite generous with his time and money especially with children and the Special Olympics.
While donating money to charitable causes is certainly gracious and compelling, it is far more challenging to set-aside time in today’s busy schedules and donate one’s time. At Howard Elliott, we have been making sure that we give back to the community and worthy causes with our time and energy, as well as our checkbook.
Colleen Daly, our Director of Sales, plus the entire team that attended the ARTS conference in New Orleans, LA last month donated their time and apparently a lot of “sweat” to Jericho Road. Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative of New Orleans is a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that provides families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities. They partner with neighborhood residents, organizations and businesses to create and maintain a stable and thriving community.
It is a true privilege to be a supporting cast member for all of these organizations that commit do so much for so many. I encourage everyone to find a cause that is meaningful to them and make a difference. As the great Ali said, “Don’t count the days; make the days count!“ Enjoy your summer!