The Power of One: Give Back, Move Forward
I’m a firm believer in giving back to those less fortunate and generally try to be a positive influence to make the world a better place. I’m the person who will escort a homeless person into Sbarro’s and buy him a slice of pizza, or who probably fills up your email inbox with fundraising requests for one charity or another every so often (and hopefully you haven’t added me to your Spam filter). Several years ago, I started the “Give Back” initiative at CJP that is an outlet for volunteer-minded employees to participate in activities with charities in the area and was pleased to see just how many people shared this interest. Today, as a firm we are looking to overhaul our charitable giving and volunteer program and create something that people want to be a part of and makes a measurable difference for all involved.
So, as I begin to think about what our new initiative will look like, I’m paying close attention to organizations that I think are doing it right. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by non-profit, New Yorkers for Children, an organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families who are served by the Administration for Children’s Services, and was blown away by the young adults who so bravely stood in front of hundreds of people and shared their stories and how they became a product of the foster care system. The stories were inspiring, the influence of the attendees and their generosity was astounding. It actually got me thinking about how much of an impact we can have as individuals. A young man at the event spoke of his guidance counselor that really helped turn his life around and helped him get into college. This one person was able to make a marked difference and changed the life path of another person who may have ended up dead or in jail otherwise.
This marked difference is what I hope the new CJP Give Back initiative will come to achieve. And I challenge each of you, if you have not ever volunteered to find a cause that you believe in and support it. The influence you can have can totally change a life.