Every Little Bit Helps

Giving doesn’t have to be big to be great

On the days I’m not working at my job, I’ve been volunteering at various vaccination stations close to where I live. I generally opt for being front-of-house, welcoming people in and logging them into a little handheld computer as they arrive.

I try to keep it friendly and fun, but some folks are quite nervous, so too much good humor is not always appropriate. The weather has been beautiful up to and not including yesterday, as of this writing, when bicycling to my shift the heavens opened, and I got royally soaked. The sun came out later, and we had a line of mostly young people winding round the block waiting for their jab.

Almost without exception they are polite and friendly and sometimes effusively grateful to get their vaccination. Like many others, I have been giving my time for free. We are just small soldiers trying to help find a way out of the pandemic.

The charity scale

The other end of the charity scale is perhaps best represented by MacKenzie Scott, who announced on her blog recently that she has donated $2.7 billion in gifts to 286 "high-impact organizations," focusing on overlooked and underfunded categories and communities.

She said her team felt it would be a distortion to give to just a few big charities and has focused on a variety of organizations, including those with leaders of color, as well as those that empower women and girls.

Father and son team take up the challenge

She recognizes small is good, and small is what I want to tell you about. My work colleague Jon and his five-year-old son set themselves the challenge to cycle 100 miles to raise money for a prostate cancer charity. Well, the good news is that they long ago left 100 miles in their rear-view mirrors, have now completed more than 200 miles, and have raised in excess of $800.

Of course, there have been bumps in the road. Recently the son's front tire punctured, and the little guy had to be picked up by mom. He was furious! As dad said, he still had many miles in the tank.

Of course, raising money doesn’t just benefit those to whom the money is given. For Jon and his son, it has clearly been a wonderful father and son bonding experience and has already become part of their family’s story.

Sweepstake

At the time of this writing, the European Football Championship is underway, and like many companies across Europe, our firm is running a sweepstake. I got France and stand to win around $75 should that country hoist the trophy.

Now for those who are not great followers of European football, I must tell you that France is one of the top teams and while it would be absurd to say that I have the dollars collared, I do stand a reasonable chance of snatching the cash. It goes without saying if France wins, then the money will go to Jon and his son's prostate cancer stash.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that big money given to charities is wonderful, but small amounts raised using graft and guile are just as excellent. Whether, like MacKenzie Scott, you have some cash to spare, or whether you are Jon and his son battling the elements on your bikes, it doesn’t matter. You are all worthy of the highest praise.

Have you have raised money for cancer charities? I’d love to hear your story. Share in the comments below.

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