by Marirose Steigerwald
“Marirose, I need help!” The urgency in John’s voice was clear – this coming from a colleague who is rarely flustered, always smiling and always polite – to everyone. John burst into a conference room in which I was meeting with another team mate with this urgent request.
Help was needed – it was raining torrentially and our office is on the top floor of a beautiful, flat-roofed building – which sometimes leaks. Help was needed in the form of moving his computer and valuable items (family photos) out of the way of the dripping noise heard above his desk, and calling our great landlord to send someone to address the leak. Just a few minutes later, with the help of others, all was accomplished. Today the roof is clear, his desk is restored, and all is good.
Help – what is that? Besides a great Beatles song (look it up), sometimes we think we shouldn’t need help. When I was earlier in my career, I thought I could, and should, do everything on my own. I thought that was the only way I could provide value to my employer. The reality is and was that I need help every day from my colleagues, my family and my friends – to allow me to do what I need and want to do. And frankly, getting help from others is much more fun!
In our work, we say we “help the helpers.” When Hurricane Matthew struck our state, we activated our disaster relief fund to be able to help our communities get back on their feet after the water receded. Almost a year later, we are still active in supporting the helpers in those communities. We hear pleas for help from our neighbors in Texas, who are recovering from the largest amount of rainfall ever recorded (I read 15 TRILLION gallons). And since Irma decided to attack Florida, we’ve been called on to help that lovely state.
On a regular basis, our generous donors, by establishing funds and endowments, allow us to grant money to nonprofits that are helping and to bestow scholarships on students who are advancing their education so they can help others. While our work on some days isn’t as dramatic as torrential rain and the need to move a computer and precious family photos from dripping water, every single day we see the impact that our fundholders have on the people of our state.
What can we help you with today?