Carving time out of your busy schedule to give back to your community can be challenging but not impossible. I’ve made it a priority in my personal and business lives to give back to those who may not have had the same opportunities I have had.
I’m very involved with a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the 100 Black Men Of Stamford (100BMOS). It is a local chapter of 100 Black Men of America. We are a mentoring organization that focuses on having a positive impact on African-American males. We endeavor to help these individuals reach their greatest potential through consistent and meaningful engagement.
We are sustained by member dues, fundraising events and external partners – including a recent generous grant from the GE Asset Management Foundation. With our programs and efforts, we find ways to positively impact our “100 Kids” to move from middle school through high school and on to college or other secondary educational opportunities as desired.
- Ongoing Mentoring Initiatives
- Youth Golf Program
- Youth Tennis Program
- Technology Mentoring Institute (Lego Robotics Program)
- College Bound Initiative
- SAT Preparation Program
- Annual College Fair
- College Scholarship Awards
Students in our Lego Robotics Program participate in numerous community service projects throughout the year, such as serving meals at various area shelters. This is one of the many opportunities offered.
Our key focus remains on fulfilling the four tenets of the national “Mentoring Across a Lifetime” platform. In addition, we will continue to foster dialogue around critical community issues (e.g. Achievement Gap, STEM, Charter Schools) at co-sponsored forums. We encourage men of color to work toward that end by volunteering in one of four core areas: Mentoring, Education, Economic Development, and Health/Wellness.
Our golf mentoring program meets year-round on Saturday afternoons. Kids have the opportunity to practice on the driving range then learn the rules of golf on the course. At a recent kick-off, former New York Knicks star John Starks talked to the kids about golf, and how the sport has made a difference in his life.
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner and you would like to get involved in your community, consider these benefits:
- It’s Good Business: Sponsorship of events often involves purchasing an ad in a program guide or some other form of promotion – perhaps the best kind of advertising to create good will for your business
- It comes back to you: Two of the most-used sayings are also the most true:
- It’s better to give than to receive.
- What goes around comes around.
When you reach out to help, business comes back to you as people remember you. Personally, when I am asked for referrals I always start with the people in my immediate network.
It can help you penetrate the local market: Your business will be seen as one that helps the community, not one that is just out to make a profit. People recognize and remember that.
I am pleased to announce that I’ve been selected as President of the 100 Black Men Of Stamford (100BMOS) through 2016.
I invite you to join me in our upcoming Golf Tournament on July 14, 2014. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this opportunity to support our mission and ongoing programs for youth.
Do you volunteer in your community? Share your experiences below in the comment section!