There are certain things that you just can’t teach people. Of course, drive and determination are great examples of attributes that either you have—or you don’t. During this holiday season of giving, there is one characteristic that is quite relevant to me, and that’s generosity. In my mind, giving freely of yourself—sharing your time and talents with people who are in need or with those who are less fortunate—is what generosity is all about. And I’m humbled to witness the incredibly generous spirit that has developed here at Shamrock over the years.
While I have always been active in the community and have made philanthropy a priority in both my personal and professional life, it was when we moved Shamrock to our new building in 2000 that Shamrock defined that element as a prominent part of our corporate culture. Don Schenkenberger was our president at that time; he spearheaded the development of Shamrock’s Community Involvement Committee which provided structure for our charitable involvement as a company.
Fast forward 13 years and the sentiment and purpose of that program remain the same, while the impact of the effort continues to amaze and inspire me. Our people here at Shamrock aren’t just going through the motions—I see families and friends joining in these efforts, getting engaged, making connections and truly changing lives. At every level, they are passionate about their involvement.
One of the many efforts that Shamrock is actively involved with each year is the Giving Tree project, which is a national program that gives us the chance to make a difference in the lives of local families in need. Our employees at Shamrock provide essential items and gifts for these families, which we hand-deliver on Christmas Eve.
That giving-spirit transcends beyond the holiday season: Shamrock committed to, and raised, $15,000 for Cystic Fibrosis last year; we rally a team every year for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure; we raise funds annually for Our Lady of the Wayside; and earlier this year, one of our employees had a family member who had a major surgery—the committee quickly came together and assembled a fabulous gift basket to show our collective support. Big and small, Shamrock is committed to making those connections and making a difference.
At this time of the year, many of us pause to reflect about how very fortunate we are to have all that we do. But above and beyond, I feel blessed to know—and to witness—that our people here at Shamrock have the compassion and generosity in their hearts to give back to our community. Again, that generous spirit is something that either you have—or you don’t. I’m proud to be a part of this organization that truly has it, and that shares it, to make our community a better place.