Perhaps it started with the old testament (Malachi 3:8) or a feeling that you had down in the pit of your stomach that said, “I’m so blessed, I should bless the lives of others.”
A friend named Jeff first brought the idea of corporate giving to my attention. Jeff’s idea was that every corporation has a responsibility to the community as a whole. To this end, the company we started in 1999 gave money to Habitat for Humanity so that homes could be built for those in need.
One of the great things that Habitat insists on is that there is NO free lunch. Yes, they will build you a home but you will help build it and you’ll pay for it so that others can have homes. The new home owner’s payment will fit your their ability to pay.
The concept of “teach a man to fish” is important. We all feel bad about those in need of food and/or the basic necessities of life.
As a young boy at the age of 10 I found myself homeless along with my younger Brother and two Sisters. My Mother didn’t have the skills to be anything other than a Mom. She did her best but the responsibility to provide fell upon me as a the oldest child.
We ate from trash cans that were at the back of Nicolosi’s Restaurant at 40th and El Cajon Blvd in San Diego. One day, Mr. Nicolosi found me foraging for food and wanted to know what I was doing and why. His first reaction was: Get a job!
I told him I was 10 (it was hard to believe because I was already 5’ 7” tall) and that I tried but no one wanted to employ me. He offered me a job washing dishes. He taught me to fish and from then on my family began to live [again] like we did once upon a time. After a few summer months I was promoted to cook and worked 4 to midnight (after school) 7 days a week.
The whole point is that teaching to fish is important. Using corporate profits to provide solutions for homelessness, lack of clean water, electricity, homes, schools and so many other social issues is extremely important. Corporate giving for HIV/Aids, Cancer research, heart, diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy and so many other causes is also important.
Thank you for reading this. May I ask: As the head of a company or corporation, do you have a charitable component to your bottom line? If not, why not?
What are your thoughts?