Now and then a guest will say something during one of my radio interviews that truly resonates. This past Friday on the Community Service Radio Show, John Freebairn, President of Freebairn & Company, made one of those comments. He was talking about how the folks in his advertising agency get genuinely passionate about their pro bono efforts when he said…
“The payback is not always in cash.”
Those who have poured heart and soul into a community cause know exactly what he means. If you haven’t yet, that’s cool. Family, friends, neighbors and career can easily consume your entire day/week/month/year; and rightly so! At some point in life though, we all owe ourselves the experience of a shot at altruism.
For me (though I’ve invested a bunch of myself in the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance and the American Cancer Society) the selfless part of altruism hasn’t happened. Every minute and every dollar I give to the GSO pays me back many-fold. The time and dollars I have and continue to invest in cancer-related causes eased my wife’s terrible burden, kept her with me so much longer and continue to do the same for others. Without looking for any payback, it comes-back nonetheless.
Doing this altruism thing is hard. Every attempt I’ve made has yielded more wonderfully selfish, personal rewards than the time and money I’ve invested.
Ditto for John Freebairn and his PR Manager, Milo Ippolito. “It’s good for morale,” says Milo. John talks of the new client he landed because they, “…admire what you’ve done for the Georgia Kidney Foundation.” The business and personal paybacks – even though they are unsought – go on and on and on…
Listen to these guys. Think about it. Choose a cause that grabs your heart and soul. Give your time and treasure. If you feel real altruism, let me know. I bet you never will! And that’s what’s wonderful about community service.