Don’t Just Give Gifts –
Give of Yourself!
BY E. CHRISTOPHER ZAUCHA
A Holiday Challenge
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the retail marketplace begins selling and decorating for the holidays right after Halloween.
And, we’ll soon begin checking off gift lists, sending party
RSVPs, and mailing holiday greetings to family and friends.
But, before you get caught up in this frenzy, consider the
opportunity to make a lasting impression long after the presents have been opened, the parties attended, and the greetings exchanged. This holiday season, I challenge you to give
your most valuable asset: your time. No one is more appreciated than someone who donates his or her time to lighten
someone else’s burden or advance a common cause.
The Volunteer’s Mantra
Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew (author, writing instructor, and
spiritual director) said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have
the time; they just have the heart.” This is truly the mantra of
those I know who volunteer on a regular basis.
Even though balancing professional and personal schedules is
an ever-growing challenge, supporting a volunteer effort fills
an important need – and will leave you with a strong desire to
give even more of yourself. People don’t volunteer to receive
accolades or credit; rather, they find a cause they sincerely
believe in and hope that they’re able to make a difference.
Countless charitable organizations, trade and professional
associations, and places of worship welcome and appreciate
your time and talents. While they all need financial support,
most need volunteer support just as much, if not more. Meals
aren’t delivered to the needy on their own; shelters cannot
clothe the less fortunate without assistance; industry initiatives are not advanced without intellectual support and fresh
ideas; and society as a whole does not improve without true,
honest, good-hearted help.
As psychologist Sherry Anderson said, “Volunteers don’t get
paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” Even though we don’t get paid, that doesn’t mean we
IN MY opinion
construction financial management association
should feel worthless or unappreciated. Those organizations
and causes that rely on volunteer efforts would agree – we are
Tom Brokaw said it best: “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot
tougher to make a difference.” Everyone wants to feel as
though they have contributed toward achieving a goal. Everyone wants to feel a sense of accomplishment and that they
have made a difference. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes
they can experience those feelings just by giving of themselves.
You Can Make a Difference
Find a cause that speaks to you and get behind it as best you
can. Even a few hours a month will make a difference. Be bold
and lead by example. Remind colleagues, friends, and family
members that the holiday season is about appreciating what
we have. Show them that this appreciation is achieved by
helping others and expecting nothing in return.
This holiday season, I urge you to give the gift of your time to
help make a difference. There is nothing stronger than the
heart and willingness of a volunteer. ;
E. CHRISTOPHER ZAUCHA, CCIFP, is a longtime member of CFMA and the Philadelphia Chapter. He is a past
ICCIFP Chairman and an inaugural Board of Trustees
As a volunteer advocate, Chris has given countless hours
of his time, energy, and talents to make the CCIFP designation a leading credential in the construction financial
He is currently the Financial Manager of Food Export USA.
( email@example.com; 215.599.9744)