Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Businesses Should Serve as our Examples for Giving - 11-25-09 Mahomet Citizen Editorial

With Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas just a month away, many efforts are being made throughout the country - as they are each year around this time - to benefit those who are considered less fortunate than others.

Similar to years past, businesses in the Mahomet area are doing what they can to offer help to those who need it most.

Some businesses are holding food drives, others are collecting gifts for children, some businesses are collecting clothing items. Even the village of Mahomet is collecting items to donate to Mahomet Helping Hands.

At every turn there seems to be some way a business or local institution is offering a way for local residents to become involved in this spirit of the season by giving of their time, their money or even some of their goods and lightly used clothing items.

With that in mind, it would seem as though excuses to become involved in the giving process are running thin this holiday season, even with Thanksgiving still a day away. But isn’t that the way it should be?

While it could be viewed as a way of shameless self-promotion to use giving as a way of gaining customers during this time of year, a more likely explanation is that businesses and their owners are exercising their rights - and often times, their desires - to lead their community by serving as the example.

After all, what better way is there to get a cause to the people who can do the most good than to use the reputation of a business? By making that effort to offer a helping hand to those in need, businesses aren’t just fulfilling an obligation, but rather they are filling a need within their communities and are showing how they care about the community in which they operate.

With local businesses and institutions as guides, the community is provided with a prime opportunity to step out of the shadows and offer its own helping hand, whether it be to a neighbor locally or someone they have never met.

This just goes to show that businesses are not simply out to “make a buck,” or to show how giving they can be during the holiday season, but to be examples to the rest of the community in regards to how easy it can be to become involved in something that will resonate with many people.

Just as businesses and other institutions mean to leave footprints on their communities, they also mean to give their customers the resources to leave their own footprints on their communities, in hopes of leaving them better places.

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