In the Community
Living GenerouslyNovember 01, 2013
The signature block on my Community Foundation email has included “Live generously” for a number of years now. It is important to me on a personal, not just a professional level. For example, when I have been almost impaled by a hood ornament in heavy traffic (and tempted to show my proficiency with sign language), I remind myself to live generously—being generous with my patience. When I’m on deadline and someone needs a listening ear, I remind myself to live generously—being generous with my time. And goodness knows I need to practice the mantra often, as it is a critical life goal of mine.
At the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, we recognize that to accomplish our mission of “strengthening community by connecting people, resources and needs,” we need to encourage everyone to live generously—it takes all of us to create meaningful positive change. And interestingly, the more generous we are, the more we receive in return.
As what appears to be a promisingly successful tourist season is winding down, the generosity of the business and corporate sector comes to mind. And there are not only good community reasons for businesses to “live generously,” but good business reasons as well.
The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has had the immense pleasure of working with many businesses over the years in their resolve to strengthen their communities. One notable example is our partnership with the Hargray Caring Coins Foundation, which has contributed more than $2.2 million back into our community since it was established at the Community Foundation in 2003. Also consider Oak Advisors, a local investment firm, and the British Open Pub, a local eatery, each of which established scholarship funds at the Community Foundation. Bob and Lois Masteller, owners of The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island, want more than anything to preserve, protect and promote jazz music, especially among young people. They had a passion that needed an outlet, and that outlet was the establishment of the Junior Jazz Foundation at the Community Foundation. The Foundation has supported the funding of instruments in local schools and summer jazz camp scholarships for local students among other things. Brian Carmines, owner of Hudson’s on the Docks restaurant, and also a former Community Foundation Board Member, is another shining example. From sponsorship of the annual Community Thanksgiving dinner, and Fourth of July fireworks show, to the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, which raises funds for the Hilton Head Island Recreation Association, and the David M. Carmines Tennis tournament, which raises funds for cancer research, the Hudson’s team personifies good corporate citizenship.
These are just a few of the numerous examples in our community. I can think of so many others, can’t you? What are some other ideas? A business can lend equipment, such as the community truck owned by Collins Group Realty. It can make a meeting room available for community use, like Palmetto Electric and Hilton Head PSD both do. It can sponsor events, offer trinkets for gift bags for a fundraiser, or share an article about a good cause in its corporate newsletter. I know that my own decisions about where I choose to do business can be swayed by such things, as I believe that these businesses care as much about the community as I do.
The bottom line is that we all can choose to live generously by taking small steps every time there is an opportunity. From a smile, to a word of encouragement, to a helping hand, to a financial contribution, to a lasting charitable legacy–all these are positive examples. What are YOU (or your business) doing to live generously and make Every Day Matter?