When you’re successful in business, you should always give back. But there is more to giving back than just donating money.
Give back and share sideways. Share your story and tell others why you give back to a certain cause. This isn’t to brag or get recognition for yourself, it’s to get recognition for your cause. Your story can help connect another to the cause and encourage them to support it too.
I support a variety of charities but the causes closest to me are the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and the Calgary Dream Centre.
When I was only four years old when I first spent the night at the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last time.
For the next five years, I found myself in and out of the Women’s Shelter as my mother struggled to escape an abusive relationship. Today I credits the Women’s Emergency Shelter for helping me make it through some of the toughest moments of my childhood. Having first-hand experience, I value the importance of places like the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and I want to help ensure that they are always available for those in need.
In addition to charitable donations, I’ve also arranged a toy drive one Christmas. Of course, this was to help ensure that the children spending Christmas at the shelter got to experience the joy of the holiday season but it was also to help bring awareness to the cause. A single donation helps but not as much as also sharing the connection to the cause and encouraging support from others as well.
When I was a teenager, I often struggled to find my way but I was fortunate to have the help of others to get me through the tough times and on a better path. Because of this, another area that I’ve committed to supporting is with troubled youth. I spent years supporting the Calgary Dream Centre and then have recently founded the Youth Dream Camp. This program includes the Youth Dream Camp, a life-affirming, group bonding, and recovering focused retreat every summer where the recent graduates share their stories, experiences, with each other as well as their mentors. This camp helps break down barriers and facilitates the transformation towards recovery.
A donation to these causes is helpful, but I hope that sharing my stories will either inspire you to help these causes or a cause that is close to your own heart.
This is the same with business donations. A beer company that supports the environment is great, but when they share the story of sea animals stuck in the plastic rings and connecting that to why they donate will have a much greater connection with your customer and the world.
Giving back is important but the real impact is made when you share your story.