Monday, November 1, 2010

Support the State Employees Combined Campaign

I read an article last week – an obituary of sorts – in which the subject was described as a person who always declined financial assistance because, he said, “There’s always someone who needs it more than me.” A few days later the State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) kicked off at Robinson Hall. It’s the annual drive to raise money for charitable organizations that many of us contribute to each year.

My first feeling about the request to give centered on the fact that this awful recession continues to linger and that we haven’t had raises in two years and won’t again next year, and that, frankly, a call to give was becoming tiresome. But I quickly remembered the quote above and that straightened out my thinking.

I don’t know who is reading this, so I can’t pretend to know about your life and how you’re weathering the Great Recession. Perhaps your spouse or adult child is unemployed or underemployed. Maybe, God forbid, your mortgage is teetering on default. Or maybe like me, you’ve been blessed by maintaining a stable financial situation. What I do know is that you are employed. Not just anywhere but at an institution that is very well managed by smart, thoughtful people of integrity. As such, I can’t deny that there’s always someone with less than me, and I need to be thoughtful and generous in supporting organizations that do good for those who need help.

Someone very successful and very spiritually rich once told me that the more one gives to others, the more one gets in return. Even if we aren’t seeking something in return for our giving, we will benefit. Whether you call it God, or the Universe or karma, doing good begets good. And to share when it’s hard to share is even better.

None of this is news to you, and I’m not here to lecture anyone. I’m just sharing how I feel about my responsibility to give – through SECC and other channels. Some of you may be big givers to SECC. But if you’re ambivalent about how much to give, I recommend giving at least enough to qualify for payroll deduction -- $60 spaced out with deductions throughout the next year.

There’s always someone who has less than us; someone who just needs a little help. By supporting SECC, we help people. And that’s good for them and us.