A Hand Up

“It is better to give than to receive,” is the modern translation of a New Testament quote… and an adage that has been heard repeatedly around the world by children and adults alike. Almost two thousand years later, a similar sentiment was vocalized by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, when he said, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”

But if the seemingly endless 2016 American Presidential campaign has left you aching for words of wisdom from other than politicians, then how about a gem from Albert Schweitzer. Schweitzer, the noted German/French philosopher and physician aptly stated, “Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it.”

Volunteerism is sufficiently pervasive to prompt the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics to track participation rate and tabulate the gender, age and racial demographic breakdown of volunteers.

Whether you directly assist others in your community or aid an organization that supports others, rewards are immeasurable. The personal satisfaction of giving, as well as the support received by those in need of a hand up, can be immeasurably heart-warming.

At SDI we are unfailingly grateful to the people and organizations that provided support 25 years ago during the nascency of our enterprise. Gaining certification as a Minority- and Woman-owned company by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) helped grow our business by attracting new customers dedicated to conducting business with capable minority suppliers.

Appreciative of such valued encouragement coupled with a passion for paying it forward, it wasn’t long before engaging with other Minority-owned companies and organizations became a strategic imperative. As an active board member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), I currently lead their International and Audit Committees. Additionally, I have been the Vice Chair of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), as well as a Board Member of the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida (WBDC) for some time. Each of these endeavors has undeniably afforded me a uniquely fulfilling experience.

Most recently, as a Zenith chapter member of the Women’s Presidents’ Organization (WPO), I have had the honor of engaging with and reaping benefit from fellow trailblazing women executives and business owners in an active peer idea exchange. The mission of the WPO is to “improve business conditions for women entrepreneurs, and to promote the acceptance and advancement of women entrepreneurs in all industries.” Their forums, networking groups and collaborative events arm women presidents and entrepreneurs with the tools to share ideas to help overcome business challenges.

These roles have not only granted me the privilege of giving back to the global community of women- and minority- owned enterprises, but has significantly contributed to growing and enhancing my leadership skills.

The philosophy of Goodwill, the community-based charity, is “a hand up, not a hand out.” Here’s to giving a hand up.