Giving back to your community: Why it's good for business & your heart
As humans, it’s easy to feel as though you want to belong to something bigger or to donate to a worthy cause. As an entrepreneur, or working professional, it’s imperative to give back to the community that supports your business endeavors. From doing community service, to supporting a local sports team, to joining a professional association, there are many options out there for being proactive and supportive to your local town. Highlighted below are two different professional organizations that you can join; not only to assist in growing your business, but to also fulfill the desire to belong to something greater and quite admirable.
My Professional Journey
When I first moved home after being away at school for five years, I was a little lost. Most of my good friends had moved away, so I was left to not only find a job but to also try to make new friends and find my way back in my hometown. I also was a victim of the recession, and the job market crash back in 2008. I decided that the best thing to do was to go and get my Master’s degree in my field of study. While it assisted in extended my job search until 2010, it really only delayed the inevitable of trying to find a decent job amongst both my peers and those much more experienced than myself.
After finding a part-time gig that would hold me over for around a year, or at least give my time to ponder my career path, my mom had approached me about a local professionals group called, the Jaycees. While I had never heard of such a group, my interest was piqued and I decided to inquire further about this organization. I figured that I had nothing to lose by attending a meeting. After all, it was only volunteer based and I longed to belong to something involving community service since I did a lot of that in college for the different clubs that I belong to.
Similar to a youth Chamber of Commerce, the Jaycees, is an international organization for working professionals between the ages of 18-40. The foundation of the Jaycees organization operates under a creed, which outlines the major goals and objectives for this professional group. Their creed states the following:
That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth's great treasure lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the best work of life.
I figured that by joining my local chapter, it would be an excellent chance for me to make connections, possibly find a steady job, all while making friends that were close to my age. This was in 2010, and as of 2017, I am still an avid part of this organization. I currently serve as the webmaster, event blogger and public relations chair for my chapter. I have been blessed to make some great friends, create new business relationships, and most importantly, give back to my local hometown community.
As a member of the Jaycees, I have seen this group do instrumental things for local working professionals and those who are starting up a business in the local area. I firmly believe that giving back to your community should definitely be a priority, especially to an entrepreneur whose customers may also be your neighbors.
Below are just a few well-known Jaycees members that you may have heard of:
WILLIAM J. "BILL" CLINTON
42nd President of the United States;
1976 member of Fayetteville Jaycees, AK, USA
ALBERT "AL" GORE, JR.
Former Vice President of the United States;
1976 member of Smith County Jaycees, U.S.A.
HUBERT H. HUMPHREY
38th Vice President of the United States of America & United States Senator;
President of the Minneapolis, Minnesota Jaycees, U.S.A.
Ex-Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:
Past President of the St. Paul, Minnesota Jaycees, U.S.A.
THOMAS S. MONAGHAN
Chief Executive Officer of Dominos Pizza:
past member of Michigan Jaycees, U.S.A.
39th Vice President of the United States of America
Past JCI Secretary General
The Rotary club is an international organization that promotes goodwill between working professionals, their vocations and ensures ethical and fair treatment between all members and their chosen fields of work. Unlike the Jaycees, one just has to be 18 to join, but there is no age limit on how long one can be a member.
There are six core duties that the Rotary club serves to achieve. They are as follows:
Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
Save mothers and children
Grow local economies
As a Rotarian, you will assist in coordinating events and work with other local professionals to raise funds for the important causes that the Rotary club wishes to support. They offer a lot of great opportunities to network, as well as getting to know other working professionals in the area. You can promote each other’s services, build your clientele, all while supporting excellent humanitarian causes both locally and around the world.
Here are some famous Rotarians, who also served as some of the world’s most influential people:
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
1927 Nobel Prize recipient for physics
Founder of J.C. Penney stores
DR. CHARLES H. MAYO
Co-founder of the Mayo Clinic
JOYCE C. HALL
Founder of Hallmark Cards
For more information on joining a Rotary club, check out the local website for the DuBois area.
Belonging to a local organization has been extremely helpful in building friendships, and also making connections in the business world. Some of the most revered leaders and business moguls of the past have been a part of these great organizations. They were inspired about making a difference, and it started by taking care of the community they enjoyed being a part of. Being cognizant of where you started is always important. Do not be afraid to give back, either by giving your time or by giving a donation to a local cause. Remember where you came from and where you began, after all, if it wasn’t for your humble beginnings, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the bright future.