By Rodney Smith, Class 28
First Financial Equity Corporation
Founder, Helping Hands for Freedom
Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership
As someone who has spent 24 years in the non-profit industry – as a founder of three organizations and a consultant for more than 20 others – what I heard and saw at Scottsdale Leadership’s “Lead it Forward” competition on April 4th was simply amazing.
I am a firm believer the strong survive and prosper in life, and I am not talking about how much money you make. Whether that is strength in character and integrity, a commitment to family, friends and community, or having respect for yourself and your way of life, to find peace and fulfillment is often a matter of one’s heart and soul and not measured with your bank account.
To serve others when others need help is one of the most noble and courageous things a person can do with their life. To see the impact that 44 Class 28 members made on five Valley charities was breathtaking. The projects featured sustainable solutions, addressed immediate concerns and needs, generated donations, provided introductions and connections that were not there before, and were filled with passion and a skill set that charities are always looking for to serve on their committees and boards.
As someone who benefited from others who took an active interest in my life when I was a child, I was touched, moved, and inspired by the dedication and hard work that went into the projects and what a powerful impact everyone had for their charity of choice.
Some simple truths learned that day:
1. Volunteering can make a difference.
2. Professional expertise can catapult a charity to higher levels.
3. Connections and relationships with other like-minded individuals is a powerful combination.
“Lead It Forward” Projects included:
Tavan Digital Literacy Program, which held a technology fair at Tavan Elementary School, showed children, their parents and teachers how technology can help them succeed in education.
Quest for College, which produced an informational packet prepared on a flash drive and in print that consolidated all of the useful information high-school students at the Paiute Neighborhood Center need to know about preparing for college.
Amplif(i) it Bash, a free event was held in partnership with notMYkid for 150 area school children and 70 parents at Scottsdale Gymnastics, to draw attention to issues surrounding bullying and positive life choices among middle-school children.
Project CANdo partnered with the Salt River Fields and the Arizona Diamondbacks to present a canned-food drive at a spring-training game that featured a pyramid stack of cans, which were all donated to Vista del Camino Food Bank.
And the winning team, Victorious Secret, earned both the audience and judges choice awards, developed a volunteer recruitment program for Foothills Caring Corps, partnering with corporations and other community partners to supply an on-going, stable group of volunteers to assist its mission serving older adults who are homebound and disabled so they can maintain an independent lifestyle.
What a spectacular group of people representing great organizations! Class 28 Dominates!!!
One response to “Serving Others in Need is Noble and Courageous”
Way to go Class 28!! I’m sorry I missed the Lead it Forward Event, but I know how much hard and (heart) work went into these projects. You have all accomplished a great deal and I’m looking forward to your graduation and having you as part of our great group of alumni!