Monday, June 29, 2009

The gift of time

Over the past four weeks I’ve been touched by the efforts individuals are putting in to help causes and to make a difference. Six distinctively different friends of mine have all reached out to friends and colleagues who were asking for sponsorship/donations to charities. This in return for them putting their own bodies on the line and sacrificing their most precious commodity, time, for the cause. The efforts have involved running the Boston Marathon, running the London Marathon, long distance swimming, and walking across Morecambe Bay (with the tide out!). What’s heartwarming is that one shameful but understandable fallout from the current financial crisis is the reduced amount of funding being dedicated to charitable and philanthropic causes. Many people have had no choice but to focus on family and home and giving has declined sharply. It is really moving to see how ordinary people are coping with this; by sacrificing time in return for sponsorships, further proof that humanity will prevail.

In the same vein, in Rome last week I was inspired at a meeting at the P&G Alumni Group. Patti Rice Eggers was recognized and celebrated for her involvement in community service. Most notably she was the founder of Hands on Birmingham, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to engage people of diverse backgrounds in service to others throughout the community. Dian Aylan was also recognized as an individual who has made a significant contribution to the human condition through her efforts in founding the Give Light Foundation. This organization has as its mission building orphanages and helping orphans around the world. Dian lost over 40 relatives and friends in the December 2004 tsunami. She then founded Give Light which is a 100% volunteer organization with no people cost. That means 100% of funds raised goes to orphans and not the 70% more typical of more bloated organizations.

It was great to see fellow alumni putting their P&G skills to work for the good of less privileged others.

No matter how tough things get there is always time for us to sacrifice something for the good of other people.