handsIn addition to writing the monthly newsletter for Tysons Auto Specialties, a majority of my business writing involves developing content for websites and brochures, capturing the brand and benefits of a company in order to encourage a better bottom line.

When it comes to websites, one of my favorite pages to write is the “About” page. Whatever label is used, this section of the site is an opportunity to give a visitor to the website a portrait of who you are as as a company. Often, the client has me include a very important area where they share how they are “giving back to their community.”
While every business wants to grow, increase revenue and enlarge their client footprint, community involvement is not just good PR, it’s just plain good! Giving back to the community is a way of contributing to the common good of society and supporting, in tangible ways, the needs and necessities for individuals as well as families.

A few weeks ago I had a six year-old grandson who was diagnosed with bone cancer. The world of that young family with four children was instantaneously turned upside down. As one of the nurses at the hospital said, “It’s not a person that is battling cancer, but the family and even their friends.”

During a recent stay at the hospital, we were able to experience first-hand what happens when people give back. From those who walk from room to room with a cart of videos and books to the ones leading crafts at the playroom, we were constantly being served and supported by volunteers. Many were business professionals and their spouses who were wanting to make a difference in the lives of those families in the battle.

Often we would run into one who would say, “I was where you are now and I know how important this kind of assistance can be.”
We also saw the community stand together with the family, in fund raisers and other efforts to let this little boy, his brother and sisters and his parents know that they are not alone during this very difficult time.

This experience represents just one family, but people are giving back thousands of times a day in ways to numerous to mention. Community service not only supports others but provides the giver – each volunteer – with a sense of worth and contribution that cannot be measured in currency.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia alone, 1,790,000 volunteers provided over 221 million hours of service and contributed $4.9 billion dollars for the assistance of others in 2012.

There are so many ways you can give back. You can volunteer at a local charity, organization or hospital, pick up litter, support veterans here or overseas, contribute clothing, household goods or funds to worthy groups, give blood, or simply looks for ways to help your neighbors.

Albert Schweitzer once said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

Are you giving back? Do you have a special cause, charity or need in which you invest? If not, perhaps now is a great time to get involved. It can make a big difference in someone’s life.

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