This category is used to choose the posts that will be added to the headline rotation at the top of the home page.
This category is used to choose the posts that will be added to the headline rotation at the top of the home page.
The Your Mark on the World Center is partnering with Bright Funds to create the Your Mark on the World Fund. The fund supports the work of 16 nonprofits that are working to solve some of the Earth’s biggest problems.
Bright Funds CEO Ty Walrod said, “Bright Funds was built to address the needs of a new generation of donors who want to harness the power of strategic giving. The Your Mark on the World Fund is an extraordinary example of empowering donors to create impact in a variety of causes areas, ranging from environmental issues, human rights, disease research and prevention.”
“New technology and a more enriched global perspective are responsible for changing the way we view donating to causes. A generation ago, giving was somewhat reactive. Society did not have the tools or the access to causes or charities we have today, and it made giving feel very transactional,” Ty added.
“At Bright Funds, we enable donors to go beyond transactional giving by empowering them create funds and then track the impact of their donations,” Ty concluded.
On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, Ty will join me for a live discussion about the new Your Mark on the World Fund hosted by Bright Funds and the work of the nonprofits it supports. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Bright Funds:
San Francisco-based Bright Funds helps leading companies and their employees change the world through impactful social good programs, and in doing so, make their businesses more successful. Bright Funds enables employee donors to choose their cause and give to individual non-profits or exclusively available “Funds” comprised of multiple nonprofits. In one platform, Bright Funds brings together the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of centralized contributions and company reporting. Employees, recruits, customers, and investors and worthy causes appreciate companies that use Bright Funds for employee-empowered giving.
More about the Your Mark on the World Fund:
This fund is inspired by the Your Mark on the World Center, which is championing the work of people and organizations who are actually leading the charge to solve the world’s biggest problems. Ranging from environmental issues to human rights, poverty and disease prevention, this group of nonprofits has been identified by the Center for their work in scaling global solutions to match global problems. The Center is working to see many of these problems solved before 2045.
Ty is the co-founder and CEO of Bright Funds, the company that enables employee-empowered workplace giving. Prior to Bright Funds, Ty co-founded and built OutServe into a national organization supporting LGBT equality in the US military. He previously worked for Deloitte, with the partnership’s venture capital, private equity and technology clients, followed by his work as the lead business analyst for Coverity.
Ty is also the co-founder and a board member of Startup and Tech Mixer, a bay area professional networking organization, and a board member of Sustainable Silicon Valley, an organization dedicated to a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and a socially equitable Silicon Valley community. He is an avid runner and mountaineer.
“Everyday 8,300 students drop out of high school, costing society $292,000 over the course of their lifetime because they are more likely to live in poverty, experience poor health, and be involved in crime,” explains Kip Kint, the Director of Training for School of Life Foundtion, an organization that aims to significantly reduce the rate at which students drop out of High School.
Jack Rolfe, the CEO and Founder of School of Life, notes, “The mission of the School of Life Foundation is to assist in reversing this trend and increase high school graduation rates. This is accomplished by teaching an afterschool program to at-risk students.”
Kip explains the program’s focus on teaching life skills, “Taking ownership of one’s own life is the key to success. The School of Life empowers students to take ownership, even if less-than-ideal circumstances remain in other parts of their lives. They come away knowing they have more power than they thought they did.”
Rolfe notes that the program is highly effective, “Of the Senior students dropping out of high school that complete the program 88% turn around and graduate on time. The success rate of underclassmen advancing to their next grade level is 98%.”
As a result of the program’s effectiveness, the program launched just four years ago will operate in 30 high schools across three states this fall.
On Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 5:00 Eastern, Jack and Kip will join me for a live discussion about the program and the data they use to track their impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the School of Life Foundation:
The School of Life Foundation™ is a nonprofit organization that aims to disrupt troublesome high school dropout rates throughout the United States and is committed to the social, moral and character development of youth. We donate our workbook, Learn To “School” Your Toughest Opponent™, and accompanying training program to high schools. The book offers life-guiding principles and values to help youth achieve straight A’s in the school of life™. Many of our partner schools are implementing the School of Life program as Tier 2 of their Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) system to enhance their school culture.
Mr. Rolfe is a retired physical therapist and girls basketball coach. He is a past President of the Nevada State Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association and also past President of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador group the Dixie Sunshiners. His coaching experiences consisted of little leagues, middle school, high school, college camps, WNBA camps, and traveling AAU clubs. From these life experiences Jack was inspired to write the book Learn to “School” Your Toughest Opponent which contains the Straight A’s in Life curriculum. To share the message of this workbook Mr. Rolfe created a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the School of Life Foundation and now serves as CEO. In an effort to further the mission of the Foundation he attained a Masters of Nonprofit Administration Degree from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame graduating in 2013. Mr. Rolfe also authored the book 27 Seconds and coauthored Life Choices: It is Never Too Late and Heart of a Toastmaster. He enjoys speaking professionally and was honored to speak at the First Annual National Youth Mentoring Summit held at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Jack and his wife Lexie reside in St. George, Utah. They have five children and nine grandchildren. Jack’s cohort at Notre Dame named him the Silver Fox!
Kip Kint is the Director of Training for the School of Life Foundation. Kip is also the author of You Can If You Will: How to Succeed Through Commitment and Accountability. He has more than 20 years of business and leadership experience, having worked in leadership positions for large, successful companies such as WordPerfect, Novell, FranklinCovey and BNI. Kip has been an Executive Trainer and Success Coach for over 20 years. He is a Certified FranklinCovey Coach, an effectiveness expert and a professional speaker. Clients of note have come from prominent organizations such as the U.S. Department of Justice, The United Nations, Allied Waste/Republic Services, The New York Stock Exchange, Disney, Microsoft, BNI and many others.
Some people just don’t fit the mold you’d cast them in. Adlai Wertman, professor and Founding Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the Marhsall School of Business at the University of Southern California is just such a person.
While a former investment banker becoming a business school professor is a well enough worn path, the shift from investment banking to a heartfelt passion for helping the homeless is startling.
Adlai is also the founder of Chrysalis, a nonprofit enterprise that provides employment to the homeless in Los Angeles and has helped over 1,000 clients and generated over $4.5 million in revenue.
Adlai explains his thinking, “It is unfair that historically business educations have been solely used for pursuing profit maximization. That same skill set and education must also be applied to solving the world’s biggest social challenges.”
Every year, Adlai gives his students a personal challenge, “With the world telling you that success is about making money, do you have the courage to define success for yourself?”
On Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Adlai will join me for a live discussion about his remarkable career switch and the social entrepreneurship program at USC. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab:
The USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab (BSEL) focuses on educating and supporting USC students, faculty, staff, and community members on using business models to address global social, environmental and health challenges. . Through coursework, education, programs, events, and career development, we provide the tools to equip and inspire the next generation of enlightened business leaders and social entrepreneurs. The Lab recently introduced a one-year Masters of Science in Social Entrepreneurship – the first such degree offered by a business school in the United States.
Adlai Wertman is a professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business and holds a joint appointment at the Rossier School of Education. He is also the founding director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at Marshall —a center focused on educating and supporting USC students, faculty, staff, and community members on using business models to address global social, environmental and health challenges. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall, Adlai spent seven years as president and CEO of Chrysalis — the only non-profit in Los Angeles devoted solely to helping homeless change their lives through employment. As part of its award-winning program, Chrysalis ran one of the larger social enterprises in the country — Chrysalis Enterprises — with annual revenues over $4.5 million and employing nearly 1,000 clients each year. Prior to Chrysalis, Adlai spent 18 years as an investment banker in New York and Los Angeles.
Adlai is an advisory board member of the Global Health Institute the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), the Sydney Harmon Academy of Polymathic Studies, and a Trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture and the USC Center on Social Innovation. He has also served as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Fund. Adlai is a frequent speaker on the issues of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Adlai was a senior fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and a Wexner Heritage Fellow. Adlai earned his BA in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his MBA in Finance, Public Policy Management and Strategic Planning from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Adlai is a member of the Social Venture Network.
Your Mark on the World Center sponsor Mike Schwager is a media consultant who focuses on impact in all he does. He operates MediaMavens.com and TVtraining.tv, helping people prepare for appearances on television.
Mike explains his philosophy, “Serve companies that tell the truth about the products and services they deliver, that minimally don’t hurt anyone; and optimally serve the public good and interest. Who you represent is an extension of who you are.”
He works to choose his clients carefully, noting, “The best companies value people above profits, encouraging human development as the cornerstone of quality products and services.”
Mike offers some important advice about promoting a client that applies equally to those promoting themselves, “In promoting a book, a product or service, or an organization use news to make news; think ‘impact,’ think ‘timeliness/immediacy,’ think ‘novelty,’ think ‘relevance.'”
Like all communications professionals, Mike helps people face public relations crises. He offers this advice to others, “Organizations should admit mistakes, offer constructive solutions. Tell your clients the truth in confidence, even if they may not want to hear it.”
Mike sees real strategic value in adding a meaningful social impact to a for-profit business; he advises, “Help your for-profit clients see the value of allying themselves with worthwhile causes that can enhance their own reputations, and do some real good in the world as well.”
On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Mike will join me for a live discussion about his career and insights for public relations. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Worldlink Media Consultants:
PR/Media Relations firm specializing in: speech writing, publicity, marketing communications, media interview and crisis training, creative marketing consulting and reputation repair on behalf of authors, non-profit and humanitarian organizations, companies invested in cause-related marketing, politicians, celebrities and countries.
Also advance issues such as dialogue, self-empowerment and motivation, animal advocacy, global poverty solutions, alternative energy via two websites: www.Enrichment.com, and www.EnrichOurWorld.net – and my radio show, “The Enrichment Hour” on WSRadio.com.
As a writer for CBS Audience Services, media specialist for Burson-Marsteller, as president of Michael Klepper Associates, and as head of his own two media relations firms – The Media Relations Group and Worldlink Media Consultants – Mike Schwager has been an accomplished media relations/public relations executive, with a track record of building reputations for non-profits, associations, companies, governments and authors.
His publicity efforts have helped raise millions for humanitarian enterprises; and he has successfully put organizations such as CURE International, Opportunity International, Geneva Global, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, KidsPeace, The John Templeton Foundation, The United Negro College Fund, Magazine Publishers of America and Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the public spotlight. He has introduced China to America as Director of Public Relations for The Exhibition of the People’s Republic of China, and has gained increased respect for Mexico in the American mind by developing television news stories on behalf of the United States-Mexican Development Corporation. He has spearheaded successful p.r. campaigns for such companies as Kelloggs, Data General, ABC/Capital Cities Publishing, Tadiran and World Color Press.
He has also implemented promotional campaigns for best-selling books such as Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, and created successes for such other books as You Can Heal Your Life; For Entrepreneurs Only; Remembering America: A Voice from the Sixties; The Hidden Pope; A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty; The BEST In Us: People, Profit and the Remaking of Modern Leadership; and The Evolution of an Entrepreneur: Featuring My 50 Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business.
Mr. Schwager is an acclaimed counselor to CEOs, and as a media interview trainer has prepared many CEOs, diplomats and authors for appearances on national television. He is also an accomplished writer of Opinion Editorials and speeches for executives and politicians.
As he’s travelled on his journey, Mike has come to see himself as a healer through communications. In addition to serving humanitarian organizations in media relations, he
became host of a spiritual/humanitarian radio show, “The Enrichment Hour” on WSRadio.com, and he created two websites, Enrichment.com, an idea envisioned on a walk down a Soho street in Manhattan during the winter of 1990; and EnrichOurWorld.net. Within this vision was the sense that as the world converges technologically, so is the time also ripe for a convergence and new integration between people, races, genders, religions and cultures…coming together and finding common ground through dialogue and heart-felt expression. The time is also fertile for increased opportunities for human fulfillment, and the growth of human potentiality – through service to the Earth and humanity, vocational/entrepreneurial growth, and creative/ spiritual insight, growth and self-development.
It is hoped that his radio show, The Enrichment Hour, Enrichment.com, and EnrichOurWorld.net, will inspire and help enrich people’s lives in building the better world!
In development are the creation of a new radio channel, called “The Enrichment Channel” and a new website, “United Friends of Earth.”
In the heart of one of the country’s most conservative small towns, just a few miles from the notoriously dry Brigham Young University, ensconced in the safety of a gated community, our host for the evening introduced us to the four felons he’d chosen to run his new nonprofit, The Other Side Academy.
Sitting in the living room of Joseph Grenny’s 10,000 square-foot home with fifty other guests, I struggled to grasp the full message I was being presented. I kept tripping over the irony of the wealthy benefactor who had so successfully protected himself from ever having to think about—let alone fear—a criminal choosing to enter their world in hopes of redeeming them.
Having learned of Mimi Silbert’s Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco, Grenny, the bestselling author, who has studied and written about influencers like Silbert, decided Utah needed something like Delancey Street.
The managing director of The Other Side Academy, which will be closely modeled on Delancey Street’s proven approach, is being built with an overarching goal: scale. Grenny, and his partner, Tim Stay, not only hope to create a successful program in Utah, but to roll it out nationwide—and then internationally.
The pair have chosen David Durocher to serve as the managing director for the Utah Center. He’s the perfect choice. Before spending eight years at Delancey Street in Los Angeles, he spent 15 years in prison over four stays with very brief stints on the outside, once lasting only 59 days. His first arrest came at age 13. His last five years at Delancey Street he served as the managing director for a facility with 250 people.
The Delancey Street model has been proven successful over thirty-plus years. The system requires that those who choose to come and stay work hard, typically at low-skilled jobs that teach them how to become constructive members of society. Most participants never have been before. Delancey Street operates several small businesses run by rehabilitated ex-convicts, addicts and others who’ve hit bottom and are willing to do the hard work required to prepare themselves to lead productive lives.
Durocher will be joined by Alan Fahringer, Lola Zagey and Martin Anderson, also alumni of the Delancey Street program.
The Delancey Street program is described on the website as follows:
There is no official staff at Delancey Street. Everyone who comes in works his or her way up into some sort of position in which he/she is learning a new job from the person over them who has held that job before, and teaching the job he/she has now to the newer resident. In this way, everyone at Delancey Street is pulling together toward the same goals. No one is simply a receiver; everyone is a giver as well.
The potential harmony of the Utah Mormon leaders, Grenny and Stay, playing with the ex-cons from Southern California rings with potential. The proven business acumen combined with the necessary track record of the operational directors leads one to conclude that it is possible to relatively quickly scale up a facility in Utah and then grow the model nationally.
Artist and activist Phil America focuses his work on social issues like class, gender and race.
“Art is a language everyone can speak,” Phil says about his work.
As an activist, he is philosophical, “The biggest criminal is the one who puts the laws of the land above their own morals.”
Having lived all around the world and having seen all sorts of poverty, Phil says, “Living in poverty does not make you poor. What makes you poor is being complacent and having poor character.”
On Friday, July 10, 2015 at 5:00 Eastern, Phil will join me for a live discussion about his remarkable work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
Phil America (b. 1983) is a California-raised artist, writer and activist. He has worked and lived throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Africa, and concentrates on issues with class, gender and race. In his work he uses performance, photography, writing, video and sound installation and sculptures, searching for a better understanding and connection to his subjects. He also helps with the development of DEAR Burma, a free school for migrants with an attendance of over 1200 students per semester and recently gave his second TED Talk as well as having spoke at numerous universities and events. In 2014 he collaborated with United Nations, International Labor Organization, World Vision, United States Department of Labor, and other agencies and organizations to create art projects around the globe and is currently working on his 4th book.
I met Craig Zelizer in the airport in Mexico City where we were both en route to Opportunity Collaboration and was immediately drawn to his good nature. He did his doctoral research on arts and peacebuilding and has made that his career focus at Peace and Collaborative Development Network.
Craig recently shared his favorite quote with me, “A journalist asked Mirsad Puritva, director of the 1992 International Festival of Film and Theater in Sarajevo how can they have a film fest in the middle of the war? He replied, ‘how can they have a war in the middle of the film festival?'”
Craig summarizes his passion for peace, “Violent conflict is one of the greatest challenges preventing the achievment of the MDGs and more stable, peaceful societies”
Craig also notes, “Higher education in the US is in a period of crisis, given the increasing costs of pursuing graduate education and the mismatch between what many academic programs are providing students and what employers seek in candidates.”
Showing his pragmatic side, Craig adds, “In order to better engage businesses in peacebuilding, it is necessary not only to make the moral case, but to show how peace is good for business in concrete terms.”
On Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Craig will join me for a live discussion about is efforts to advance peace and the study of peacebuilding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Peace and Collaborative Development Network:
PCDN is the go to hub for the global changemaking community connecting over 35,000 individuals/organizations engaged in social change, peacebuilding, social entrepreneurship, development and related fields. We provide a one-stop shop to inspire, connect, inform and provide the tools and resources to scale social change. The network has over 250,000 hits per month and 75,000 + unique visitors and has helped thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide network, obtain funding, jobs, and be inspired.
Craig is the Founder and CEO of PCDN. In addition, he is the Associate Director for the Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University. Craig has dedicated his life to being an entrepreneur and to creating a more peaceful world.
Since its founding in 2007, Craig has grown PCDN to over 35,000 members representing more than 180 countries. At the same time, Craig has also assisted in a 300% growth of students and faculty in Georgetown’s conflict resolution program. Before creating PCDN, Craig also helped to found two NG0s – the Alliance for Conflict Transformation and the TEAM foundation in Hungary.
Craig serves on a number of boards and advisory boards including the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Inzone Project, Tech Change, Move this World, Amani Institute, and several others. He spent two years in Hungary as Fulbright Scholar and was a Boren Fellow in Bosnia. He has led trainings, workshops and consultancies in over 20 countries organizations including USIP, USAID, CRS, Rotary International and others.
Craig is a recognized leader in the social sector field. He has received several awards including George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s alumni of the year award and an alumni career achievement award from Central European University.
He has published widely on peacebuilding, entrepreneurship, and innovation in higher education. His most recent edited book is Integrated Peacebuilding (2013, Westview Press).
In the context of one of the country’s most conservative states, Alan Naumann runs a multi-platform publishing company called Green News Utah.
Alan explains, “Utah needs an independent news source for environmental issues. There is a lack of information in some of the most important issues facing Utahns.”
“For instance, there is no severance tax on coal in the state of Utah. All the neighboring states have a 3.3 to 7 percent severance tax on fossil fuels. Utah, has the lowest tax on oil and gas extraction. In a state with the lowest [financial] commitment to education in the country, fossil fuels are an obvious source of revenue,” Alan adds.
Alan’s passion for the environment is exemplified by his argument, “Little is being done to reduce air pollution, in fact the opposite is true. Millions of dollars are being spent to prevent the listing of sage grouse as an endangered species, green building codes are being undermined and the speed limit was raised recently. Permits are being granted to local refineries to grow and subsidized by the state of Utah to convert to Tier III fuels. A bill to spend $20 million to convert the oldest, dirtiest diesel school buses was not funded even though the legislation passed.”
“The facts are not being agreed upon and keep changing. The sources of air pollution were set officially at 25% created by the biggest polluters (stationary sources), several years ago. Now its only 11%, a figure clean air activists dispute,” Alan concludes.
On Thursday, June 18, 2015 at noon Eastern, Alan will join me for a live discussion about his work and his passion for the environment. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Green News Utah:
Multi media outlet focused on environmental issues in Utah. We cover activists, regulators, politicians and businesses with divergent perspectives on sustainability and energy issues that matter to Utahns. We cover renewable energy more than any other news source in Utah. Our focus currently is on air quality, consistently one of the most important issues to the state. We have a Facebook group of the same name, GreenNewsUtah.com.
Alan Naumann is an Energy Consultant with American Solar Power in Utah. Naumann changed his profession to renewable energy in 2009 with a solar course at Salt Lake Community College. Naumann is the Founder and Producer of the annual Solar Day Salt Lake event held in the fall. Naumann has a background in construction since a childhood apprenticeship with his grandfather in the granite business. Naumann owned granite businesses in California and Utah, with a bank building façade being his biggest job. Naumann has been a free lance journalist and radio talk show host. His last story that aired nationally for Free Speech Radio News (fsrn.org) was in 2005 on nuclear waste in Utah. Naumann is a member of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable as a representative of the Deeksha Oneness Bleesing community of 1,200 blessing givers in Utah.
More and more, not only in social entrepreneurship circles, but more often there, we hear talk of collaboration. I’ve always had a sense that this is true as a matter of principle, but being here in Mexico working as a volunteer with Rotary this week, I’ve gained a much deeper appreciation for the value of genuine collaboration.
Rotary District 5420, which includes all of the clubs in Utah, has descended upon the small town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico to complete about 50 discrete service projects. One of the biggest projects, or sets of projects, was the construction of homes that will be provided to needy families here.
Rotary didn’t just decide on a whim to pop down to Mexico and build some homes. Rather, a relationship has been in the works between Utah Rotary and a nonprofit based in Utah called Families Helping Families, which began building homes here nearly a decade ago.
The collaboration began when high-school-age young people who are members of Interact, a Rotary-sponsored service organization for youth, began providing funding and manual labor for the construction of homes. As that relationship solidified, it became the primary source of volunteer labor for Families Helping Families.
When Utah Rotary began thinking about bringing its membership down to Puerto Peñasco, the leadership quickly realized that they needed partners on the ground in Mexico. There was no active Rotary Club in Puerto Peñasco, so Utah Rotarians came down several times to recruit members here to form a new club and to provide the needed support for the projects.
Today, we saw the impact of the collaborations. While the Families Helping Families homes that were built this week, won’t be finished for months, other teams worked on homes that were started months ago to get them ready to present to their new residents. We toured the cute little homes today as the families were invited in for the first time. The Rotarians had decorated and furnished the homes and even put in some landscaping.
Elsewhere, we saw that the local Rotary Club, which discovered a previously unknown Rotary Elementary School in need of some Rotary love, got all that it needed, including 65 Apple iMac computers, fresh paint, dozens of broken window panes replaced and new air conditioners in each classroom.
Utah Rotary could not have pulled off these projects without the help of the local Rotary Club, an axiom so plainly true that Utah Rotary was effectively forced to create the local club in order to complete its mission. It also relied upon the expertise and experience of Families Helping Families.
Collaboration isn’t just a buzzword or a good management principle. It is the key to successful impact.
Today, as I was working alongside my Rotary friends volunteering here in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, I realized that volunteers come in all shapes and sizes.
On the one hand, I was not surprised that the woman with the Harley Davidson t-shirt knew her way around power tools. She puts in a full eight hour volunteer shift every day and never slacks off.
On the other hand, I was was somewhat more surprised that the lawyer in the group, Russ Ferricks, was equally comfortable with tools and works just as hard. Today, he took charge of roofing the small piñata factory where our Rotary Club has been leading the project. Despite thinking that I knew his character and desire to serve, I was surprised at the energy and determination he showed for the technical and physically challenging aspects of the work.
As I migrated from project to project, functioning typically as a unskilled labor, I had the opportunity to spend several hours working side-by-side with one of the wealthier members of our club, Floyd Hatch. His $16.8 million ranch is currently up for sale–I suspect he’s looking to upgrade. Now in his sixties, he, too, gets down and dirty in the work. As the President Elect for the Club and the formal head of the project, he hasn’t organized himself as the leader, instead he delegated that responsibility to an experienced contractor and jumps in to help wherever needed.
The volunteer pool today ranged in age from about 5 to about 65. In fairness, our youngest volunteers were easily distracted and weren’t always on task, but they were fun to have around. The volunteers from the local community, participated as equals. I loved watching two volunteers on the roof carrying on a complete conversation, one speaking English exclusively and the other speaking Spanish exclusively, with some gesticulation thrown in for added clarity.
Today’s lesson: anyone can volunteer and everyone makes a difference!