I am not sure where my Philanthropy began but probably when I was a child attending Catholic church. Not really sure you would consider the church a philanthropic decision but I also went to Catholic school and they made it clear that 20% of your salary should go to the church to support God’s work. In reality some of that may go to support God’s work in some manner but most of it went to support of the priests, nuns, convent, rectory, utilities etc… Where I became more than a bit disillusioned was when no heat would be on in the winter and the elderly would be sitting there shivering; or when they eliminated all masses except for one Sunday mass. We lost the ability to see the community and participate in that community – the focus was gone.
But the intent to help was not! My daughter has a particularly strong desire to help others and leave this world a better place. We try to use a portion of my blogging funds to make the world a better place. Sometimes it isn’t even about the money – it is about using your influence as a business to support something or someone. Or what about simply spending time supporting what you treasure – choose a cause or causes that are passionate for you.
Oprah Winfrey – Use your life to serve the world, and you will find that it also serves you!
I have every intention of making sure the businesses I have built will help to help my children have sustainable income when I am older or they choose to step in. With any of these businesses comes the responsibility to be a part of the community, support the community, be ever changing and more.
The best example right now is COVID. Everyone is struggling in some way – someone in your family may be sick, may have lost their job, struggling to put food on the table and more. As a business owner there is definitely not a lack of opportunities to help. Be creative.
My cousin is an amazing photographer and with that career everything was lost in one instant. She found a way to make memories, keep some income coming in for herself and help everyone going through these unprecedented times. First, she created what she called Porchrait sessions. These were all done while socially distancing. The intent was a quick 15 minute session for families – she would go to them. She stayed 30-40 yards away while taking photos on porches of families. We participated in a rather unorthodox way – we chose not to have our photos on our porch and not to get dressed up. For us, she went to the barn where our horses our – where we spend a major amount of our time – and took photos of us with our horses and our dog. It was amazing. We had a blast. There was no commitment to these sessions – each family received two digital images free with no commitment to buy anything. But there were 30 or so other images that you could buy!
Then came graduations and no one was getting school photos done, all student graduation photo shoots were canceled, and even graduations were canceled. Again – she came to the rescue of hundreds of families but this time socially distanced outside at her photo studio. Every student had a free 10 minute session – and she worked FAST! They could choose to buy the packages or not – easy peasy.
Her creativity at Charleen’s Portrait Studio made all the difference to so many families – but it also helped hers. Sam Haskell is another terrific example! Charleen helped herself by helping others in a time when she could have felt sorry for herself and lost her business. Instead she is now building an even better studio to help people even more!