Although I am of the mindset to be paying it forward all year long (it's in my DNA), the holiday season is especially full of opportunities to show appreciation, give thanks and help others. This holiday season I will be paying it forward in at least three ways - with my blood, sweat and tears.
One of the professional networking groups I belong to and for which you local Rainers see weekly event announcements posted on my Active Rain blog is called PLAN! which stands for Professional Leadership Academy Network.
Last week, instead of our regularly scheduled hour long program of education and professional development and network, the group chose to use that time to find a way to give back to the community.
I chose to donate my blood at OneBlood in Fort Myers which is often overlooked as a critical need within the community. You never know when the next crisis may befall us and our blood banks are always in need of fresh supply.
Hunger is one of those societal problems that is mind boggling, yet it persists. We do not have a hunger problem in the United States, we have a logistics problem whereby an ample supply of food is inefficiently distributed to our citizens.
This isn't a political statement, just a fact that some people often forget, especially when their own pantry is full of colorful cans and boxes of ready to make and eat food.
In partnership with one of our clients, Best Home Services, we are collecting thousands of pounds of non-perishable food and other items to donate to Fort Myers, Florida division of Midwest Food Bank.
Then, on December 17 we will not only deliver these crates and boxes of donation but we will also break sweat as we help stock the shelves at the warehouse.
In January 2015, our team at iPartnerMedia lost one of our family members, Evan Shepherd, to a hit and run but an underage drunk driver. That tragedy will always be in our minds.
A senseless death of a talented, young man like Evan is preventable if people will take more responsibility when they choose whether to drink and drive.
In partnership with Evan's family and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Fort Myers chapter, we will participate in Walk Like MADD fundraiser at Jet Blue Park to honor Evan and the many other lost souls and their families who are victims of drunk driving.
Paying it forward is a rewarding experience that pays dividends in ways you can't anticipate. Although I find ways to be engaged with our community throughout the year and contribute to worthy causes, this holiday season I will be paying it forward with my blood, sweat and tears,