It is an amazing statement, but so often true - If you need something done, give it to a busy person. Why is that? Why not give it to someone with little to do?
I looked around the conference room that Towne Bank provided for the use of Chesapeake Care Free Clinic's planning session one recent Saturday and marveled at the board members giving their day to this endeavor that serves the working poor.
The clinic's founder, surgeon Juan Montero, was there, exuding (as always) enthusiasm and joy. The man lives to help people and, while the Free Clinic shares a unique place in his heart along with his wife, Mary, and four incredibly successful sons, his involvement in charitable organizations is endless. People wonder how he fits surgery into his schedule!
One of the most recent, and valuable, additions to that board is Chesapeake Health's Chris Moseley, whose keen mind and charming wit create a comfortable atmosphere for his ability to cut to the heart of a matter. The man follows the legendary Dr. Donald Buckley, also serving tirelessly in many organizations - including the Clinic's board, at the helm of Chesapeake General, the independent hospital celebrating its 30th year. Surely he has other demands on his Saturday, but apparently not more important demands.
This month, Brenda Johnson is being honored, deservedly so, by the Chesapeake Chamber of Commerce Women's Division as the 2005 Woman of the Year. Brenda is also a tireless worker for the Clinic and serves on the Chesapeake School Board, to cite just a few of her contributions to community life. Then, never in the spotlight but ever so valuable, are the many Clinic volunteers who give hundreds, even thousands, of hours attending to those who would otherwise have no medical care.
Smithfield's Angie and Peter Lowry are two of the busiest peopleI know, and two of the most committed to giving back. They own the regional Interiors by Decorating Den franchise and, appropriately, are devoted to Habitat for Humanity, just one of their many charitable focuses.
Krystyna Bublick of Virginia Beach never met a charity or a person she didn't love. How she fits in unlimited attention to anyone who seeks her encouragement with her entrepreneurial adventures, I'll never know. Joe McGourn of Moyock, North Carolina, who owns Sunrise Breakfast Shoppe in Chesapeake, is in the Philippines as I write. On one of his trips to his wife Vergie's homeland, he discovered a garbage dump in Manilla where children eke out survival, and Joe has never been the same. He literally lives to raise money and transform the environment and futures of those children.
Warren Aleck may be the most charitable person I've ever known. He has given freely of his time, talent, money, and heart for decades. The heart part is what warms my heart. This man, who reached the height of success in business, remained humble and kind, always scanning his world for friends who might need a word of encouragement or an hour of time or a helping hand. Most of his giving back is unsung, which is the way he wants it.
These people I've mentioned and countless others who give back surround us and show us what is possible. Whenever I say, or think, that I don't have time for something, I'm reminded of how much they do and how noble it is to give back some of the blessings we all have in abundance.
Giving back doesn't require money or power or status; it requires heart and desire. It requires time, our most precious resource. It doesn't have to take place volunteering at the free Clinic or hammering nails for Habitat for Humanity or raising money for orphans. Perhaps it is a state of mind, a desire to share whatever gifts we have been given.
When we share anything, it really is true that we get back more than we give. Ask any one of those very busy people.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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