Giving Back

Thoughts From Your Mayor

Do we have an obligation to give back? Are you in a position where you could, but feel you’re off the hook, that you are all “Even Steven” with your fellow man because you really haven’t been given to?  Take a moment as we tumble toward this season of Thanksgiving, where yours may be most like a Norman Rockwell experience with extra gravy and three choices of pie for dessert, or perhaps something less than idyllic. Regardless of what the season means to you, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the concept of giving back.

There are many ways to give back. Donating money, sharing our talents and skills, looking in on a neighbor, or giving that most precious of gifts – our time. My sister-in-law and brother are often giving me time. They run errands or grocery shop, or take out the trash because they know my hectic schedule.

The Town of Mount Pleasant has over 1,200 volunteers just in our recreation programs.  These are the individuals that teach our children how to properly participate in sports, socialize, play nicely with one another, kick a goal, intercept a ball, or they just show up to make sure each kid has the opportunity to feel included and be a part of something worthwhile, healthful, and fun.

We can be proud of the hundreds of members of various civic organizations, schools, and places of worship that do so much good for others, but I am most impressed that five days a week our community experiences the efforts of another group of dedicated volunteers that load their cars with food prepared for folks that are bound to their homes. These kind hearts are often the only interaction many have all day and that healthy meal is second to a kind word or a touch on the shoulder from a familiar, trusted visitor. I have had the opportunity to ride along and can’t begin to share how bonds are formed over such a simple act of delivering a meal.

Of course, there are ways to give back by being involved in local government, serving on a board or commission, working at the animal shelter or food bank, or offering to read to students at a neighborhood school or library. Giving is a benefit to the recipient, but perhaps the giver gets the real gift. And the fabric of our society is reinforced.

So, why not set aside any “Even Steveness” you may have calculated and practice just a few random acts of giving back. Share a smile, make muffins for the fire department, buy a policeman a cup of coffee, let someone go ahead of you in the grocery line…you get the idea.  When you share your blessings, you will find that giving back is a great multiplier.  Be safe throughout the holidays, friends, and slow down to enjoy the pleasant side of the river.

And remember ~don’t just live, create a life.