I recently had the opportunity to talk to someone who was new to Dallas. She was remarking at the lack of natural beauty here, and wondering out loud why residents seem to love this city so much. “Is it the food? The shopping? The sports?” My reply: “Those things help, but it’s the people.”
A few weeks ago we held our fifth Family Service Day, which has become an annual tradition of gathering friends, family, clients and colleagues to help our firm serve the North Texas Food Bank. This year we had the biggest turnout ever, and our highest number of clients join us. As a small business, we don’t have an army of employees to volunteer on our behalf. Our success depends on the community of people we admire who are willing to offer up their Saturday morning to help their fellow man. They know what we know: serving others is one of the most gratifying ways to spend your time.
Two of my friends, both who are highly driven and highly successful, relied on food pantries as children. They don’t know each other, and their stories are not exactly the same. The threads that run parallel for them are meaningful: hardworking parents who want the best for their children, an unexpected misfortune that found the family living hand to mouth, and a few important moments where the kindness of others changed their life trajectory to where they are today.
In 2016, I wrote about retired Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s admonition that we should all “put in an application.” The suggestion was a response to the nationwide befuddlement about how we as a society can recover from events like five police officers being shot dead in the street, as they worked to defend their fellow Americans’ rights to protest. Chief Brown’s ongoing drumbeat is for all of us to actively be a part of the solution to some very daunting problems right in our own communities. While we know we can’t cure all hunger, all poverty, all health problems, all mental illness, all homelessness, all addiction, we need to try.
For a small company with big goals to help the community, we rely on our partnership with Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) and its CFT4B program to be our backbone. CFT4B provides opportunities for its family of small- and mid-sized companies to host their own events or to join forces. This week CFT4B brought together its member companies on September 11 for Freedom Day - a day of active volunteerism to honor the lives lost and forever changed on 9.11.01. Freedom Day kicks off a short but important giving season for our community, all hosted by CFT, and culminating in North Texas Giving Day (9.19.19), the largest one day giving event in the country.
Why do Dallasites love Dallas? Because it’s full of people who not only dreamt up the biggest one day giving event in the country, but it’s also full of people who will inspire each other over the next week to donate money to help our fellow man here in our community, and to provide an opportunity that just may change the life of someone they’ll never meet. To be a part of this magical moment that only happens in Texas, you can make a donation here: https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/.