Peer Power Blog
This blog is about the power of peers in the IT space. It is designed as a place to share things I have learned the past 24+ years running a business as well as meeting the growing demands of business owners we experience leading the Heartland Tech Groups - a peer group network for IT business owners.
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Guest Blog - The Importance of Giving - A Go Giver's Perspective
By Zack Schuler
Cal Net Technology Group
I am of the opinion that no matter what faith you hold, your faith will teach you that taking care of the less fortunate is an essential element of obedience. Even if you have no faith, in your heart you likely realize that taking care of the less fortunate is “a good thing.” That said, there are many different ways and forms of taking care of the less fortunate. There are ways that foster sustainability such as working with a fatherless child, and teaching him something that he will use for the rest of his life. Helping others to help themselves, has both been an American tradition (at least until recently), and has been taught by many of the world’s mainstream religions.
On the flip side of this, there are non-sustainable ways to help people. Dropping food in an impoverished part of a country will feed them for a few days, but after the food is gone, you haven’t delivered any real change. Don’t get me wrong, this sort of relief can be critical to keeping people alive in dire straits, which can get them to the next level of accepting sustainable solutions. The unfortunate part of relief is that it can also lead to dependence, much like what has happened in the U.S., where many Americans have chosen to “live off of the system” as opposed to using the system only in dire straits, in between jobs, etc.
For these reasons, my support has gone to an Organization called Opportunity International. Opportunity is a non-profit organization who makes small loans to people in impoverished countries. Opportunity teaches these people via weekly workshops how to start or grow businesses, and loan them the funds to get started or expand. The loan is then paid back, and goes out to the next poor entrepreneur. Every part of this effort is sustainable- both the skills that are taught to the participants, as well as how the money is recycled. With a 95% loan repayment rate, and the recycled effect of the money, even a small donation can go a very long way.
I am called to help the less fortunate, by putting up the money that goes out as loans. I never see the money again myself, but as it gets recycled through this process, my initial seed money, over the years will multiply exponentially due to the interest that is charged on the loans. This means that if I give $1000 today, that will turn into then of thousands in actual impact over the years.
In all of my years of searching, I have never found a better vehicle to help the poor, than Opportunity International. I would encourage you to learn more at www.opportunity.org
Arlin's note - we wanted to share Zach's passion and perspective coming off a great charity event with Mission Arlington. We realize not everyone can attend our onsite events - but everyone can give and make a difference through the charity of your choice. There are many worthy charities to pick from. The key is to identify and then get involved. Money is good - but giving yourself is even better. Hands That Give is all about giving back and making a difference. Are you?
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