Naples is a great place when it comes to philanthropy. According to the National Center on Charitable Statistics there are 357 public charities and 350 private foundations in Collier County. When I say it’s a privilege to have a business in such a community-minded area, I sincerely mean it from the bottom of my heart.
Our company has had the privilege to assist many of them. Often, we participate in walks/runs and other times we lend our services to transport items needed to help set-up galas or auctions. Since taking over William C. Huff Companies 27 years ago, it’s been our company philosophy to give back. We believe that this has made a huge impact, not just in the lives of people in need, but most profoundly in the lives of our staff and indeed, me.
Often times we give just to say we helped. And, then there are those times when something grabs you and you give from the heart. It doesn’t really matter if it’s time, money or resources — giving from the heart always seems to have the most dramatic impact.
A few years ago I was approached to be a sponsor for a Friends of Foster Children (FFC) fundraising event. As I intently listened to how the organization was helping foster children receive tutoring and educational mentoring, I, for the first time in my adult life, came face to face with my own at-risk childhood — one of abuse, neglect and living in foster homes in Northern Maine. It was then that I realized that I had to do more than just “give back” — I had to be a part of this organization and use my experiences to help educate the community about this often overlooked group of children.
For the past three-plus years, I have had the opportunity to be on the Friends of Foster Children Board of Directors. What I have seen transpire is nothing short of miraculous. We’ve brought passionate people onto the board who give from their heart; they offer time and resources that will help provide a better life for at-risk children in Southwest Florida. I’m excited about the future and for the many young lives that the FFC helps.
When it comes to “giving back” – we all know that’s the right thing to do. However, when it comes from the heart, lives can and will be transformed.