Giving Back is Good for Everyone

by Joe Lavelle on June 19, 2009

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My wife and I recently had the opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual Gala held on behalf of Homes for Our Troops here in Boston. I felt humbled and honored to be in the presence of some of our nation’s bravest heroes, and to hear the stories of many more who could not attend. Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit organization that was founded five years ago with the purpose of raising money that is then used to build new homes for our returning soldiers or to adapt a standing home to being handicapped accessible. I firmly believe that providing homes for our injured soldiers should not just be a nice consideration when possible, but should be an absolute obligation. These men and women risked their lives to defend our country, and deserve our respect and our care when they return. Homes for Our Troops does a great job in contributing to this need. It is a well-run organization, with only six percent of the donations going to overhead costs. Every other penny goes straight to helping soldiers.

Have you found a way to give back to your community or your country? The options for getting involved are endless. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend that you find a cause that has meaning to you and contribute your skills in the best way possible. Volunteer your time with a Big Brother/Big Sister group. Ask your local library if there is an adult literacy program that could use another tutor. Organize a fund raising walk to fight cancer, heart disease, premature birth, etc. Once you start brainstorming, I know it won’t take long to find the service project or charity that is a good match for you.

Why am I such a firm believer in giving back? Most importantly, you are helping a person or group that will greatly benefit from your time and/or money. Getting involved in a cause also will improve your self-confidence, which will translate to greater effectiveness in your profession. Finally, charitable work offers another opportunity to network with influential people. It is not selfish to recognize that giving back may also hold personal benefits for you. Your return on investment (ROI) when you choose to help others will undoubtedly be a net positive!

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