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Repair the world

Posted in Executive Insights

Our world is in trouble. Economically, environmentally and emotionally. All we have to do is read the news, and we see a very troubling situation. But instead of just sitting around, discussing it and getting depressed, what should we do?

We should all work even harder to make the world a better place. In the long-run it’s good for the world and for business.

Ok, so if that sounds a little preachy, so be it…this is our blog, after all. Not only is this my opinion; it’s how we run our business. In addition to helping our clients grow and strengthen their businesses, at Morningstar Communications, we are committed to helping to repair the world:

  1. We choose one outstanding not-for-profit organization each year to provide pro bono services. For 2009, we’re extremely proud of our friends at Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas (YEK), who teach business and entrepreneurial skills in high school classrooms, and offer hands-on experience to help students succeed as business owners or employers. We help YEK communicate with its key constituents, including donors and volunteers, as well as gain awareness across Kansas and the Kansas City area.
  2. We encourage our employees to help our industry and community, and we fully support those efforts. Our employees have held leadership positions with Greater Kansas City PRSA, Alphapointe Association for the Blind, Kansas City International Association of Business Communicators, The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Reach Out and Read, The Jewish Federation, Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, The Counselors Academy, Business Marketing Association, American Marketing Association, and many, many others.
  3. We invest time as a team to help repair the world. In the past, we’ve entertained youth at Spofford Home, served lunch to the homeless at Grace and Holy, sorted cans at Harvesters, built a garage as part of Habitat for Humanity.
  4. And perhaps most important of all, we provide three days each year of paid time-off to encourage all of our employees to help a charity of their personal choice. We don’t approve their request; nor do they have to report what they accomplished. But most of our team members want us to know about the great work they do. In the past, our team has volunteered at shelters (both human and animal), hosted visitors to our community, provided teacher assistance at our schools, and cleaned up our environment, among others.

Charity – generosity and helpfulness toward the needy or suffering – is a core responsibility of each and every one of us. Doing acts of charity simply can’t be outsourced…we all must do our own part personally.

Not all acts of charity are equal. And to better understand this notion, I suggest that we all consider that great biblical scholar, Maimonides, who created this hierarchy for the giving of charity, each level more ideal than the other:

  1. Moses MaimonidesOne who gives grudgingly, reluctantly, or with regret.
  2. One who gives less than he should, but gives graciously.
  3. One who gives what he should, but only after he is asked.
  4. One who gives before he is asked.
  5. One who gives without knowing to whom he gives, although the recipient knows the identity of the donor.
  6. One who gives without making known his identity.
  7. One who gives without knowing to whom he gives, neither does the recipient know from whom he receives.
  8. One who helps another to support himself by a gift, or a loan, or by finding employment for him, thus helping him to become self-supporting.

We’re especially proud that our help this year with YEK focuses on the highest ideal.

So, as you turn off all the negative news and consider all of the good news and blessings in your own life, my challenge to you is simple: What else can you do to help repair the world?

Onward and upward.

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