The Ligon Marketing team has so much for which to be thankful, starting with family, friends, and the community we share. With gratitude comes a desire to give back. As we take time to recognize #GivingTuesday and the non-profit organizations that enrich our community, our team shares some thoughts about the ways we choose to give back.
Alek is a gregarious guy, so it is no surprise that he and his wife host an annual “Friendsgiving” dinner before Thanksgiving. “It’s not only a great way for us to make time to catch up with friends we may only see a couple times per year – but a fun way to provide a Thanksgiving for our friends and neighbors who either have no family or who are displaced.” They also like to respond to tangible needs, with a turkey for Metropolitan Ministries, donating shoes and school supplies through their church for kids in need, and buying Christmas gifts for children named on “foster angel” trees at church and school. In addition, having lost a grandfather to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alek donates to the cause and has long worn wristbands to fight ALS and prostate cancer in honor of both his grandfathers.
Amy also likes to make actions part of her giving, because “volunteering is an important way to stay grounded in gratitude, and it combats entitlement – especially in kids.” The mother of four, she and her family have packed meals for Feed My Starving Children and participated in lake clean-up days organized by Hillcrest Coffee. Amy’s favorite nonprofit is The Take Heart Project. “I’ve been to Kenya with them twice and have seen first-hand their commitment to making a tangible difference in the areas they serve. They do work in rural Kenya, primarily providing sustainable income opportunities for widows and scholarships for girls so they can stay in school.”
Much of Cindy’s giving is related to “meeting people at their point of need and helping in ways they want to be helped.” Ever since a positive family experience, she has a passion for hospice, as both a donor and volunteer with Good Shepherd Hospice. “Hospice is about helping people have a quality end-of-life, as they define it, and their compassion for patients and families is a real blessing.” She especially enjoys volunteering with the GSH grief camp for children, Camp Brave Heart. In addition, Cindy volunteers on the board of ElderPoint Ministries, which has a mission of providing healthy nutrition and safe transportation for community seniors. She is also a supporter of local artists, writers, and filmmakers who are working to live their dreams.
Cora and her husband grew up in mission fields, so giving back has always been part of their DNA. Their experiences led them to reach out to and feed a Thanksgiving meal to missionary kids and other international college students who can’t return home during the break. This year, she volunteered with Legacy Christian Church’s Thanksgiving block party, cooking and serving a meal to the neighborhood around the church. At other times, Cora and her daughter have served food with Metropolitan Ministries and are often found volunteering at Imperial Symphony Orchestra events. As Christmas approaches, she also has a special heart for the elderly; “Angel gift-giving for seniors is one of my favorites, and this year we’re participating with Better Living for Seniors.”
Jane likes to give locally, whether as a volunteer, donor, or consumer. She has volunteered in beach and lake clean-up organizations in various communities in which she lived. “I love the outdoors and vow to do whatever I can to make a difference in protecting this beautiful world we live in.” She also wants to help local people in need, so she supports the Lake Wales Care Center, because she appreciates the services they provide. After a dear friend’s death from leukemia several years ago, Jane decided cancer research would always be a cause she would give back to, and she donates annually.
Lorrie became an empty-nester this year, and much of her previous giving back included her children, spending weekends with them as they earned community service hours. Of course, she was also busy as the mother of a high school tennis player, so many hours were devoted to her daughter’s school and team. Favorite ways to give back are volunteering at the Breaking Bread Café and donating to The Compassion House, both outreach programs of Lakeland’s Church at the Mall. She looks forward to getting more active now that her youngest child is in college. “There are so many worthwhile organizations I can give to.”
We at Ligon Marketing are privileged to be able to give back to our community in a variety of ways. As Lorrie said, there are plenty of worthwhile causes and ways to be involved. On #GivingTuesday, we celebrate those organizations whose missions are to improve our communities every day.
Tell us how you give back in the comments.