by Amy Weitzel
Chasing the almighty dollar has been the ultimate goal for business for … well … ever. When I started my MBA studies, my professor and textbooks emphasized that the goal of finance was to “maximize shareholder wealth.” I felt my inner volunteer recoil the first time I heard it.
Don’t get me wrong – I completely understand the concept of capitalism and understand that businesses must, first and foremost, make money to stay open. I, like every other red-blooded American, want to be compensated fairly for my time, i.e., a fair salary. I also want to see the companies I work for succeed and prosper. I want to see other local businesses succeed and I’ll often post recommendations on my social media pages to help them. But I have also spent years and countless hours giving back to various nonprofit organizations in the Grand Valley because I believe in the concept of giving back and in helping those who cannot help themselves.
Many of us work for companies that, just by nature of their service industry, make an impact on the people who they serve. Then there are the businesses that give financially and volunteer their time to support nonprofits and individuals. I am fortunate to work for two local businesses who choose to make a difference in our community. Beyond what the businesses do to make money, the owners and managers of both companies volunteer their time and energies working with area nonprofits.
These businesses stand for something. They stand for supporting their local community by donating silent auction items to nonprofits. They have owners who donate their personal time to volunteer in nonprofit organizations and serve on their boards. They encourage their managers and employees to also volunteer. And, they put their money where they mouth is by donating money, services, and goods to help local charities. It’s clear that they stand for supporting those in need in our community.
I am proud to say that I work for these companies because they give back. Now when I go to local events, I look at which companies are sponsors and who is donating to silent auctions. I am looking at who is volunteering their time away from their families to raise money for nonprofits or serve on their board of directors.
Service to others is part of my life’s vision. My personal mission statement says, in part: “Mine will be a legacy of devoted love for my family and a beacon of light to people in my sphere of influence. I want people to say, ‘because of Amy, my life is better.’”
So working for these two companies fits with my life’s vision. In one job, we provide mental health, legal and financial counseling to the employees of the employers who hire us, and in my other job, I am a group fitness instructor, which provides a mental and physical experience for our members.
At Triad EAP, although we are only a staff of five, we have “adopted” people in need during the holidays and provided items they have requested. We have also adopted Roice-Hurst Humane Society and Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Society and provided their EAP services. Crossroads Fitness has done food drives and supports Mesa County Partners, March of Dimes, St. Mary’s Hospital, Community Hospital, HopeWest and many other organizations.
As residents and as businesses in the Grand Valley, I believe we should support people and nonprofits in our community. We should stand for something bigger than just ourselves. As residents, we should support local businesses who support our community. Start by paying attention to the businesses you patronize to see what they stand for. Then support those businesses. We need to pull together as a community and support one another. We must stand for something, and that something should be supporting community.