I don’t know about you but I think most everyone should give back to their community in one way shape or form. As most of you know, I’m very involved in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, on the Board, a Trustee, head of a committee that has three task forces and more. When I first started my business I was involved with even more organizations and I have to admit I burned myself out. Not that I didn’t find it all gratifying, I just found that I was exhausting myself. So I finally learned to say no.
That is until last week. A very dear friend asked me to chair an upcoming fundraising event. I didn’t say yes immediately. She saw the major hesitation in my eyes and maybe my hand tremble at the thought of letting her and the organization down if I accepted. But I did accept. Why?
If you’re in Florida, you may have heard of them, PACE Center for Girls. And they truly do save girls lives. I was the person thatdid the “ask” last year at her fundraiser. Before I got up to the microphone two of the girls in program read their stories. They talked about how they had learned to have courage, patience and respect for themselves. They talked about how they now might have a future. Because you see these girls (ages 11-17) have had difficult starts to their lives, abuse, trafficking and may have had brushes with the juvenile justice system.
Their stories brought tears to my eyes literally. And as I got up to speak I realized I was all choked up. So, I stood in front of these 200 people and told them that there was nothing more I could say if those two girls stories hadn’t touched their hearts enough to maybe pull out their check books.
Amazingly I had people come up to me afterwards and said they were always planning to give but after I got all choked up they felt they should give more. So, when I was asked to actually chair the event this year, I thought back to those stories and realized the only answer I could give was yes.
I hope that everyone has found that organization that touches their heart, because you get back so much more than you give.