Pathways for Children recently held the annual donor and volunteer appreciation breakfast. Following is the transcript of Steve Mersky’s (Vice President Board of Directors) speech at this year’s event.
Welcome to this year’s donor/volunteer appreciation breakfast. The theme of this event is gratitude. On behalf of the Board of Directors, let me express my appreciation that you are here today, and for all that you do to help our children.
This is the first year that we are jointly honoring our donors and sponsors. It is completely appropriate, because whether you are a donor or volunteer, the common action that you took is that you gave; either your money or your time.
If you gave your money, then the results are measurable and evident. We see it in the goods we purchase, and the bills we pay. We see it in our payroll register, and in our financial statement. But if you gave your time, the impact may be less obvious, but I assure you, that impact is real. It is real in the gratitude of our staff, for you help them help our families and children. It is also real in the smiles of our beautiful children. Several weeks ago I was walking into our facility to support Sue with a meeting with one of our suppliers. It was a beautiful day and the toddlers were outside. I stopped to chat with the teachers and kids. I learned that they love to high-five, and they promptly lined up to do that with me. Their smiles, and that impact, was real.
Everyone here, including me, has a motivator that results in being right here right now. Let me share mine. Several years ago my wife and I founded a new business. We performed signifanct due diligence leading up to our launch. We became quite intrigued by Richard Branson, who gave us great insight and inspiration. One piece of advice he gave was that if you are going to start business, immediately align with a charitable organization. Plan to give back from the start.
And we set upon to do just that. We did some research, and shortlisted two children’s organizations to meet with. The first was much larger than Pathways. I described the situation, we were ready to donate and to volunteer. But they showed no real sense of urgency and we left with no action items. The result was disappointing.
Then we met with Pathways. We visited the facility. And for those who have been there, you know the impact that has. We got the chance to see the kids and some teachers in action. We met with some of the leadership. Then we met with Sue. And I swear that when we entered her office she locked the door behind us. We were not getting out of there without being onboard. But what she didn’t know, was that they had us at hello.
My motivator; it’s the kids. It’s our children, who are some of the most vulnerable people in our community, and for no other reason than the circumstances into which they were born. They deserve our best efforts.
I am so proud of Sue and her entire staff. They are incredible people doing incredible work. They deserve our best efforts.
So let me thank you again for being here, and for all that you do. And I leave you with a final ask – keep it coming.