Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Giving Back?

Opportunity is knocking; everywhere you go it seems there are opportunities to "give back."  One fund raiser after another trumpets that "this is your chance to give back."  Give back?  Give back, what?  If you are "giving back," does that mean you took?  Were you a "taker?"  If you weren't a "taker" then how can you give back?

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm a believer in charitable giving.  I have participated annually and substantially to a charitable campaign that provides funding to numerous not for profits.  One of my favorite not for profits is Military Mom in Action. I believe that Military Mom in Action and the other many charities that I have contributed to do very valuable work, but that does not equate to feeling as though I am "giving back."  To put it bluntly, I feel I haven't taken.

For some, "giving back" might be an apt description and there are some who might more accurately be characterized as "giving back and taking".  Some I believe give to get.  It may be for social interaction or the motivation may be to garner "good will" back to the individual for their good deeds or their generous contribution.  The Cicotti Family Recreation Center (named for Rudy Cicotti) is filled with tributes to many who have given back and taken.  When I took my first tour of this facility, I must admit that a big turn off to me was that it felt like every part of the facility was named in tribute to a donor; each room is named after a donor, the gym was named after a donor, etc.  Instead of going to a "community" facility, it feels instead as though you are going to Bob's gym or Ann's weight room or Michael's meeting room.

I will note that much of this is a symptom of my OFS... Old Fart Syndrome.  Undoubtedly, times are tough and I realize that organizations need to come up with ever more creative ways to bring in funds so that they can serve.  Perhaps, there is a small crack in the ice of my OFS as if the organization does good work, I'm likely to overlook semantics.  So go ahead and ask folks to "give back," all you want...if I'm a believer, I'll be happy to contribute, but I'm not giving nothing back.

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