Gene's Note: The Power of Serving

I was honored to attend the Grants Pass Sparrow Club end of the year assembly in the Grants Pass High School gym. The assembly was to recognize the amazing efforts of the students of Grants Pass High School  in support of their Sparrow, Indiana. (Click on the links to learn more about Sparrow Clubs and Indiana.) After meeting Indiana and his parents, I had the opportunity to address the Grants Pass High School student body in the gym that day. I was able to personally thank them for their efforts to help Indiana and his family. Their support of Indiana was inspiring!

The students of Grants Pass High School personally dedicated over 1,600 community service hours in support of Indiana. Yes, over 1,600 hours and their goal was just 256 hours… more than 6 times their goal. To top it all off they wanted to do more… so through a special fundraising effort the students raised over $5,500 in support of Indiana. I was humbled by how these students gave of their personal time for the service of someone that needed their help. Their spirit of service led me to share a few words that I firmly believe in… I shared that our success is not measured by what we get… our success is measured by what we give!

Please join me in thanking the students and faculty of Grants Pass High School for being an example that we should all aspire to!

After I spoke, I got down on the floor at center court of the gymnasium and I held my hand out to play with the little car that Indiana was holding… without prompting he reached over with his other hand and gave me high 5! I believe this was his way of thanking all of us for helping him. This chance moment with Indiana ignited a flood of memories of all the things that others had done for me early in my life. Then I felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude for how my life has been blessed by what others have done for me. I was overcome by Indiana’s amazing smile and reminded of the joy I receive by being a part of someone else's blessing. This was such a powerful moment that it also reminded me what an honor it is to work for our members at a credit union with one of our core values being “Community Involvement is Essential.” The great part is that this is not just words on a wall, it is part of who we are, and from our members to our employees this belief is a driving purpose for your credit union.

So, with the challenges and concerns we face today let’s be part of the solution. I believe being part of the solution is blessing others with your time, talents, or treasures. Helping someone doesn’t have to be part of a major initiative or effort; it can be as simple as driving your elderly neighbor to the store for groceries, it can be as simple as a helping to paint a wall at a youth shelter, or as simple as writing a thank you note to one of our soldiers stationed overseas. If we all join together in little acts of kindness I believe our world can be a kind and nurturing place to live.

It all starts with one small act, and that small act excites you to do another act and bring a friend along with you. When you bring friends along with you, you begin to build a community and a community dedicated to making life a little bit better for others, will make life a lot better for all us!

As I said to the students, our success is measured by the positive difference that we make for others… Please go make a difference for someone in need today… you will be blessed in ways that you could only imagine!