Maybe it is too much time in front of the TV, but I love movies and remember too much about too many. I can’t remember the names of people thirty second after meeting them, but I can pull out movie lines like nobody’s business. It makes me good at trivia games and fun at parties, but it doesn’t help at trade shows.
One of my favorite movies is The Magnificent Seven. A classic western and I can name all the players from memory (kind of sad or fun depending): Eli Wallach as the bad guy and Yul Brenner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Colburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz (the German James Dean or so he was known). There are so many great quotes from that movie and it has almost as many life lessons as The Godfather.
“They were only seven – but they fought like seven hundred!”
There is a great line from Brad Dexter’s character that has always resonated with me because we sell mostly smaller equipment. When talking about not getting paid much for the job of defending the village, he says in defense, “Hey Chris, don’t worry, every dollar to me always looked as big as a bedspread.” For the owner of a company that grows, shrinks, and pays the bills with a very small percentage of most golf courses’ budget, that line rings especially true. In addition to how it makes me think about my business, I think that line also holds true when thinking about giving to Charity.
There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about the billions of dollars in the Clinton Foundation. As well as other big charities that are often in the news for both good and bad reasons. I have always admired how big companies (John Deere and Toro in our own industry, for example) donate large chunks to the charity of their choice or their own charity/foundation. However, it doesn’t take big money to make a difference when supporting a charity or cause.
At Seago, some years ago we decided to support the Wounded Warrior Project. I first learned about Wounded Warriors about nine years ago when Peter Jacobson spoke at an event I attended and mentioned the group. After looking into the charity, it seemed like a great organization doing good things. Simple things that make a different. So, that year we began donating a portion of Seago’s profits to Wounded Warriors and have kept donating ever since. The Wounded Warrior Project has gotten a lot bigger since then thanks to support from Bill O’Reilly and others. We continue to support the charity with our small donation because they do good work. Seago believes everyone can make a difference as long as they try. Our donation won’t build a house, but can help get plenty of nails. As a veteran myself, I am a firm believer in supporting our military and especially those who returned injured. Since it is close to my heart it is a check I enjoy writing every year.
But more than just money, some organizations need time. Our office manager is involved in the “Coups for Troops” program. People from all over the country send coupons to our office that she sorts and then sends off to a military base to help out military families. We also work with the local service league by providing transport and labor for their “Backpack Food” program. We assist in sending backpacks full of food home with kids who are on the school meal assistance program so that these kids are able to have meals for the weekend. While this doesn’t cost much at all our time is really what is donated. By providing what we can we help a number of different organizations with a good cause.
The point of this is not to show off but merely to offer some suggestions for something to do with a few extra dollars or a few extra hours. Pick a charity, or better yet, let your team make suggestions then vote on it as a crew. Put some time or a few dollars toward that. Because for those that only have change in their pocket or nothing in the cupboard – “every dollar looks as big as a bedspread.”
Here are links to the charities that Seago supports: