In addition, to turkey, family, friends and football, Thanksgiving is a time to pause for a moment, to give thanks and reflect on the things for which we are grateful. This year I adding the Career Collaborative family to my list.
I have long wanted to become more actively involved with a local mission-driven non-profit organization where I could make a difference. Each year I dutifully resolved that this would be the year. However, I never made the time or took the initiative to find the right nonprofit. Well, the universe works in mysterious ways, and in June 2017 Art Papas introduced me to Career Collaborative and their Executive Director, Susan Yule. In the following months, I attended two of Career Collaborative’s events where I learned more about their mission to teach unemployed and underemployed adults to build careers that change lives. Their message resonated with me – prompting me to finally take the leap and jump in. The rest was easy. Over the past year I have worked closely with Susan, Nancy, Maggie and the incredibly dedicated Career Collaborative team and volunteer community.
Non-profits like Career Collaborative rely on volunteers as a critical extension of their organization. Experiencing this firsthand, I realized that I could and should have found the time in the past to be more involved as a volunteer. Non-profits can often use volunteers for even short 1-2 hour blocks of time. I’m confident that most folks can free up an hour or two on their calendar to help change lives for the better. Winston Churchill put it best when he said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
While volunteering you will meet new, interesting people and possibly reconnect with your existing professional network in a different way. My friends, family and network stepped up in a BIG way to support Career Collaborative (and me ☺) with both financial donations and a commitment to learning more about the organization.
In the short time that I have been volunteering at Career Collaborative I have been inspired by so many individuals giving generously of their time, energy, and financial support. I find the reward for volunteering in the increased ability to step outside day-to-day life for a short time and focus on others. Doing so brings a truly renewed sense of perspective and gratitude.
Also, simply put, working as part of a team to achieve a common goal that enriches lives is just plain FUN! You’re likely to notice an increasing sense of community and a better understanding of what that means. You will have a new perspective on how valuable skills you’ve developed during your career, some that you may even take for granted, can easily be utilized in helping others.
I recently chaired Career Collaborative’s annual leadership breakfast in Boston. This event is their signature fundraising event which helps to ensure that their good work will continue. This year’s keynote speaker, Robert Smith, Founder of Vista Equity and philanthropist,shared his inspiring personal story. He also generously offered a $100,000 challenge grant, matching all contributions raised through this year’s end. Please think about using this unique opportunity to double your year-end charitable giving; no gift is too small to help us reach our goal. To donate – click here.
Please don’t hesitate or procrastinate like I did in 2017 if you are considering becoming more involved financially or personally. Make 2019 your year! I assure you that it will enrich your own life in the process. Susan taught me the foundation of philanthropic work: Time, Talent, and Treasure. I loved this as it reinforces my personal belief that there are multitudes of ways we can all make a positive difference in the lives of others.