As I think about the mission of the 3rd Act to shine a spotlight on deserving individuals and organizations that are making a difference in this crazy world we find ourselves in, I feel the desire to kick it up a notch in 2021. Over the last seven or eight months, I believe we have started a good conversation about incredible people who are truly making a difference in the lives of others. This effort has been rewarding to me but I feel compelled to reach higher for more participation and explore whether a more targeted effort can bring greater benefits to those that need a helping hand.
I believe a refined approach of deeper involvement with targeted organizations and individuals may provide more fruitful results for those we are trying to help. My general idea in a few words is to expand and target. This implies that I hope to generate more eyes on our mission going forward and to deepen our help and donations to people and organizations that are walking their talk in communities across the country. I truly believe there is a desire for good people like yourselves to get involved in causes that you can see and feel in your communities.
In my last newsletter, I discussed how pulling together threads of connections, good stories, and a shared belief in a mission to help others is powerful and can lead to bountiful personal rewards for both those receiving and giving that assistance. I also believe in the multiplier effect in fundraising and believe a concerted effort from many can expand the ultimate giving pot to more folks in need. The more dedicated people we have banding together for a good cause, the more those individuals in difficult circumstances will receive and hopefully change their lives for the better.
My hope this year is to focus more time and attention on fewer causes, but in doing so, deepen my connection with individuals and organizations that are truly getting involved with folks that often do not get help or assistance.
I know we all have had philanthropic experiences that have made an impression on us during our lives. If you will indulge me I would like to share one experience I recently participated in that made a huge impression and has caused me to rethink my 3rd Act endeavor.
The short story goes like this. I have been helping Kimber Bishop Yanke and Lauren Mandel over the last six to eight weeks deliver beds and furniture to families in Pontiac, Michigan. Most of the trips are fairly easy. I pick up a bed or sofa in my truck from a donor in suburban Detroit and deliver it to a family in Pontiac. However, one recent delivery and image I can’t shake out of my mind.
With the help of Bryan, a fellow volunteer, I was asked to deliver a queen size bed with a large frame to a family living in a three-story duplex in Pontiac. We had to take the frame, mattress, box springs, headboard, and footboard up to a third-story attic bedroom and reassemble it. After 20 minutes of maneuvering, we realize the boxsprings are not going to make it up the tiny staircase to the third floor, so we ended up giving them to a neighbor. It now feels like 90 degrees and we are in winter coats and masks. There is little room to move in this hot attic that already has two queen mattresses on the floor. As Bryan is diligently working on the bed frame with the wrong tools and only the light from a cellphone, I stood next to him thinking about these conditions and tried to imagine 5, 6, 7 adults and children crammed into this tiny bedroom every night. Not a typical ‘Leave It to Beaver’ living environment.
Maybe it is just me, but the thing I can’t shake out of my mind is that I live 15 minutes down the road in what I call a bubble community of comfort and serenity. The contrast is so stark in my mind. I can’t just brush this off and move on. I ask myself how I can ignore this huge need that exists next door. The simple answer is, I cannot.
I realize this is just one case of so many in our communities, affecting everyone from veterans, the elderly, abused women, folks suffering from addiction, and, of course, children. I also know that those of you who take the time to read these newsletters and listen to the podcasts are already helping people. My priority this year is to get greater participation from good-hearted people like you that want to join my efforts. Over the next several months I will be exploring how the 3Rd Act can make a larger impact on those individuals who are out there every day improving the lives of others. I need your help and assistance. I also need your creative ideas to generate dollars and volunteer participation for good causes. I will be calling many of you over the next month for your advice and commitment to help our joint effort.
As I close this newsletter, I would like to thank everyone that took the time to have meaningful conversations with me regarding causes that you are passionate about. I also want to thank everyone for their patience as I strive to get comfortable with the podcast format. I promise I will give it my all to improve my interview technique and try my best to bring attention to dedicated people who are truly making a difference. I know because I have talked to so many great friends and new acquaintances over the last eight months that this endeavor can grow if we all put our hearts and feet into it.
I thought it would be cool to provide a slide show of many of the great people I have worked with in 2020. Thank you. Thank you. For your help and support.
All the best to you and your families in 2021. Good health and peacefulness to everyone.
Roger N. Steed