Fast Company December, 1999 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Fast Company

December 1999

"Giving Back" Edited by Jill Rosenfeld

A collection of commentaries by 17 leaders, doers, and change makers offers instruction and inspiration on giving back. With the economy doing well, record unemployment and record highs in the stock market, this group from a variety of industries and backgrounds, decided to utilize their time, money and skills to give something back to society. The men and women who have chosen to testify to the power of giving and sharing are inspiring to the average, everyday individual who may feel that such giving back is out of the reach of the common citizen. The stories shared attest to the many avenues available to anyone with the desire to make the world a better place. No matter how small a contribution may seem, it can make a difference.

Among the people interviewed, two were of great inspiration to me. Daisy Exposito, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Bravo Group of New York, New York, has worked with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Partnership for a Drug Free America. In addition, she has worked on educating parents on how to be better caretakers. These types of contributions have long-lasting results and far-reaching effects, even if only one or two people are affected.

Noel Cunningham, co-founder, chef, and owner of successful Strings restaurant in Denver, Colorado organized a Taste of the Nation benefit, which raised 37 million dollars for anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts nationwide. His hard work and dedication coupled with his philosophy that We should leave the world a little better than we found it both impressed and inspired me.

I recently met a retired teacher that taught fourth grade for 41 years in the International Falls area. He is choosing to give back to the community by volunteering his time and talents as a cross-country ski coach. He raised money to create a lighted ski trail next to an elementary school for children and families to enjoy. He regularly grooms several ski trails and has collected a multitude of ski equipment for families to rent. He has enjoyed seeing families get involved in a fun sport they might otherwise not have had the opportunity to try.

Teachers, by the nature of their profession, give back to the community, by helping to shape the future of the children they work with. For dedicated teachers, the quest to learn how to best reach each and every child seems to be on going throughout their careers. It is important to realize that it doesnt take money, success, or fame to contribute to society; it just takes a decision to share some aspect of ones life, perhaps time or talent, which may benefit others.

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2000

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