Thanks-Giving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday because it is celebrated by all Americans, regardless of their backgrounds. While the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving is so meaningful, the “giving” part is equally so.

To celebrate the giving part, a delightful tradition, called Giving Tuesday, takes place on November 29th. It is a day dedicated to giving back. On Giving Tuesday, nonprofits, families, businesses and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Many of you know about my passion for CARA, a true social innovator that helps motivated men and women, affected by homelessness and poverty, reclaim their voice and their vocation. My relationship with Cara began when a friend of mine invited me to experience Morning Motivations. Soon thereafter, the immediate past CEO of Cara became a member of my Vistage CEO Peer Advisory Board, and today, I am proud to count Maria Kim, CEO, as a current member. Through my relationship with each of them, I’ve come to see Cara as not just a place where people come to get and keep good jobs, but a place where their whole selves are reinvented and recovered in the process.

In a way, their mission, community and culture of accountability are not dissimilar to what I have grown to love at Vistage. We’re both about untapping the leader within and inviting her forward to be her best self. They do it through hope, jobs and opportunity; and we do it through skill-building and peer mentorship to develop world-class CEOs.

Like all well run Vistage companies, Cara measures their performance. They produce hundreds of jobs each year, at retention rates over 20 points higher than national norms, and with over 80% of employed participants moving onto permanent housing in which their families can thrive. They also produce a profound social return on investment, where for every dollar invested in this work, $5.97 is re-invested in society over a five year time horizon.

In this season of thanksgiving, I realize we have so much for which to be grateful – the roof over our heads, the hearty meals we share with our families, and the occupations we have that provide for our loved ones and give us a sense of purpose in the process. These things we may take for granted are not always available for the most vulnerable citizens among us.

This year, once again, I have joined with Maria’s fellow Vistage member, Kevin Krak of Gallant Building Solutions, along with Eric Weinheimer, former CEO of Cara, and Jim and Kay Mabie in offering a $25,000 Challenge Grant. We will match every dollar up to $25,000 (for a total grant of $50,000)!  Click Here to give today and your gift will go twice as far. (Don’t let the name fool you, we’re accepting donations today through November 29.)

Thank you in advance for joining us for a Giving Tuesday donation to the Cara Program, or to the social purpose organization of your choice.