As we transition into a new year with a focus to accomplish our 2012 goals, I’d like to reflect on an event that I was fortunate to participate in during December. Community Choice Credit Union team members worked with alumni of our scholarship program to wrap gifts and prepare hand-written cards for children who are affected by pediatric cancer and other related illnesses.
That same night, Community Choice Credit Union presented a $10,000 check to Kids Without Cancer; a charitable organization who uses donations to fund research for pediatric cancer. I’m proud of the donation, and I have no doubt it will greatly help research efforts; but I was struck by how fulfilling it was to wrap presents and to create cards for children who were in the hospital during the holidays. Looking around at the event, I saw genuine joy in the faces of our team members and alumni who knew they were acting in kindness to inject excitement into the lives of patients at Children’s Hospital.
As I reflect on this event, I’m reminded of the importance of organizations being genuine in their charitable actions. It’s wonderful when an organization makes a donation to a charity, but there is something genuine when people identify with an organization that does more than pose with a giant check. Both Ford and General Motors provide excellent examples of genuine giving. Ford’s Volunteer Corps offers employees 16 hours of company-supported community service so they can be rewarded for making a difference in their local communities. Lisa Gilpin, a social media employee for General Motors, sacrificed part of her paid vacation time with other team members to help impoverished areas of Guatemala.
Our challenge to the Detroit business community for 2012 is to use your platform to find ways for your organization and employees to be charitable in a tangible manner. Consider doing something bold and genuine, in addition to your donation, that inspires your consumers to match your act of kindness.