I’ve always been very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given in my life that many haven’t. I was born in a middle-class town with two loving parents who are still married 54 years later and a sister who was/is cool. Even though I was taught to earn everything I still never really had to want for anything.
I don’t believe in pure luck, but I do believe some people are more fortunate than others and have been given a better chance to succeed. For those people who don’t believe this and think we all have the same chance at success, they should watch this incredibly powerful video of what privilege means in the race of life. I also watch the news to remind myself that no matter how bad I think my day went, it’s not that bad. Because of this, I’ve always felt a deep seeded desire to give back.
When I first started working with Salesforce.com I was struck by Benioff’s 1:1:1 pledge where he committed 1% of profits, 1% of time and 1% of product. I’ve been following a similar model since I started my business, but not as structured or defined, which is what I want to change in 2018. So, we started our online store in 2017 with the goal of giving 100% of the profits to causes we believe in. Even though we only started in late 2017, with the help of many of you who follow us and read my blog, we were able to generate $3,000 in profits that we matched and gave to two different charities.
Veterans in the Arts
The first is the Hylton Performing Arts Center – Veterans in the Arts program. It’s a program my mom started to help Veterans cope with the various challenges they face using art, music, poetry and theater. It’s been incredibly successful, and I couldn’t be prouder of my mom for what she put together and the difference she is making in so many Veteran’s lives. I was honored to present the check during the holiday break when I was down visiting my parents in VA for the holidays.
The other charity was PowerMyLearning which helps underprivileged students receive free laptops at home and helps them understand how to use technology. This is an Atlanta based organization that Morgan feels strongly about due to his parents being able to afford to put him through private school and get an education that most kids don’t have the same opportunity to get.
I’m writing this blog post to remind us all that it’s way more fulfilling to give than receive and there isn’t a shortage of people who need help. I also wanted to thank everyone who have been supporting us and allowed us the opportunity to pay it forward. Like Gary V says, you won the lotto by being a human being born on earth. The odds are 400 trillion to one of that happening. Own it and do something with it to make a difference.
Make It Happen!