I was at a seminar a few weeks ago. It was one of those, “Start/Manage/Think About a Nonprofit” kind of seminars. At the beginning of the seminar, we all went around the room and talked about what kind of work we do or want to do. Among the attendees, two Girl Scouts of America leaders, a handful of budding nonprofit entrepreneurs, and one particularly interesting bearded man. The bearded man is a lawyer by trade, but at a certain time of year he dons a fur-trimmed red coat and plays the part of a holiday symbol with no equal. In other words, I was in a room with Santa himself.
Apparently, he’s part of a larger group of Santa’s helpers that tend to spend a lot of their holiday time in underprivileged areas, giving donated gifts to children who might otherwise not have a Christmas. It donned on this group of jolly fellows that it may behoove them to start a nonprofit in order to be able to offer, at least, a tax deduction to the wonderful folks who try to help them make the season a bit brighter. In other words, the Santas wanted to organize in order to make the world a better place. Think of is as The Avengers with more beards.
It’s not his business plan that struck me, but the idea of his community. This guy is Santa. His friends are Santa. They’re the ultimate example of giving. It seemed to have struck the rest of the crowd too. He was a favorite throughout the workshop (not to mention, he was a lawyer, so he had some good insights for the crowd). The story doesn’t end there.
As I was walking out of the seminar I noticed St. Nick struggling with the lug nuts on his rear tire. Poor Santa was all alone in a parking lot with no gloves, a broken car jack, and a flat tire. This isn’t one of those times you just keep walking. This guy has a list and he checks it twice. Plus, I just can’t resist helping out a nice guy in need.
Long story short: I had a pair of gloves and he didn’t. I grabbed the jack out of my car and tried to help him loosen his lug nuts while constantly deflecting his gratitude. To me, it was simple. A guy (regardless of mythological gift-giving status) needed help. I had the ability to help him.
To take this little story back to what TAFFY does, we’re Santa. We’re also helping Santa. TAFFY spends its days “Taking Action”. We stumble across a problem and try to help out.
Please let us know how YOU are getting out there and taking action. Feel free to shoot us an e-mail any time. We love a good story.