Today is Giving Tuesday, 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 motivate men and women, affected by homelessness and poverty, reclaim their voice and their vocation. My relationship with Cara began years ago, when a friend of mine invited me to experience Morning Motivations. Today, and for the last several years, I am proud to count Maria Kim, CEO, as a member of the Vistage CEO Peer Advisory Board, that I lead. Through my years coaching this CEO, getting to know her team and some of the Cara students, I’ve come to see Cara as not just a place where people come to get and keep good jobs, but a place where people come to reinvent, recover and discover their unique genius.

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. These things we may take for granted are not always available for the most vulnerable citizens among us.

This year, I have once again joined with Jim and Kay Mabie, The Coleman Foundation, and a private family foundation to create a $60,000 Challenge Grant.  This means we have the chance to raise a record $120,000 together! 

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 30.) Click Here for some Giving Tuesday inspiration from Maria Kim.

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


Elisa K Spain

You can read more of my blogs and leadership quotes here.

Share this story