When we were deciding what to do for Christmas, the idea of looking back on all that we had done for others over the past year kept coming up. But how do you tell about it without sounding a little bit to much like “Look what I did.” I am truly proud of all of our contributions to the community and the people within our community, so I decided, let’s talk about it anyway and see where it goes.
One quick note about this community we live in: There are so many good people in Dayton and the surrounding region that will give a helping hand without blinking when asked, I am truly amazed.
When a colleague of mine, Joe Ryan (of Reliable Electric) called this past summer asking if we could help support an event close to him called the Kathy Alianiello Memorial Run, and that not only was the run to support ovarian cancer research, but to also honor their close friend that had died in January, what could I say. We helped support the 10K run (through historic Lebanon) by printing their entry forms, flyers, posters and letters. And it felt good to help Joe out with this cause he had undertaken.
So we reflected more on last year, and started to wonder whether we had made a difference in our community. We do, and give, a lot, but being ourselves, we generally don’t think to much in terms of “making a difference.” We just help where we can and go on about our business. But looking back, I think we did make a difference and that’s what we are all proud of. Taking this time to reflect back on some of the areas we felt like we did make a difference, if you have a few minutes, click over on some of the organizations and charities to learn more or help make your difference in the community.
- WYSO 91.3 FM, Public Radio. WYSO, a member supported Radio Station that brings Public Radio to the Dayton/Springfield area and I believe we are all a better community for it. We support WYSO through underwriting and making sure their printing, mailing and related services are done right. I go on the air once or twice a year with Jon or Nick and help raise money during their donation drives. Not only does it support public radio in Dayton, but it gives us an opportunity to connect with a lot of their listeners as well as supporters, and in our minds is the right thing to do.
- If you have not checked out Dayton History at Carillon Park lately, you should. Dayton History is remarkable organization, and our community is extremely fortunate to have a group like them to tell the story of Dayton’s remarkable history. We are proud supporters of Dayton History, and on a personal level, I always look forward to attending the Heritage festival, the Philharmonic concert and Ringing in the Holidays, all at Carillon Park among all the other events they hold.
- For the second year, we have been proud supporters of the 5K “No Butts about it” run for Colon Cancer, which provides not only support for cancer research, but brings awareness to the need for screening.
- There are organizations like United Way of Greater Dayton, who we help out by donating all the press time to producing their annual reports and leadership books. And the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation, where we donated the invitation set for the Gala Celebration of the new Hospital Tower.
- And there are so many others we discount all we can afford to, or we donate time and help out however we can: Hanna’s Treasure Chest, The Opera Guild of Dayton, Ronald McDonald House, The Dayton Food Bank, Culture Mash, Culture Works and the list goes on.
After reflecting on our year at Oregon, I went around to the staff and asked: what do you do personally to give back?
- Mike volunteers at his Church and kid’s school;
- Kim does a lot of volunteer time with Agape for Youth, For the Love of Children, Go Red for Women and Second Chance Rescue;
- Bob’s family quit giving Christmas presents, and instead everybody puts their Christmas money in a kitty and give it to a charity (Ronald McDonald house, Alzheimer’s organization); and
- Laurie’s family adopts a family at Christmas.
- Anita has made a personal commitment to the Salvation Army (they helped her family as a child).
I don’t think we are that much different from a lot of other small businesses and groups out there. We do what we can to help out, sometimes we do more than we can. And that’s what makes Dayton as well as this country a great place. And I guess being the holiday season, it’s a good time to say thanks to everybody that is willing to make a difference, and I’m thankful that we are in a position to be able to give back.