Retirement Guys: Give ThanksWritten by Nolan Baker Mark Clair | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As a parent, a husband, a Boy Scouts Den Leader, and a business owner I, Nolan, spend most of my time trying to be the person that leads the team. Most of the great people in my life look to me for leadership. In biblical terms our family is a Christian family and my wife has the role of being the caregiver and I have the role of provider. Together we try to raise our two boys with strong values, a sense of independence, and hope they make good decisions in life. Yet, with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I reflect back on how thankful I am for others that lead me to make a difference and I encourage you to do the same. Better yet, take this time to give thanks and take action!
About two years ago, I started growing my faith and attended my first church service at Cedar Creek Church. Many of the messages over the years have hit home and give me simple and easy ways each week to make some personal improvements. I still have a long way to go, but I feel I’m moving in the right direction. Many of our employees also call themselves “Creekers.” Being surrounded with people who share similar values only makes my life better every single day. If you feel you are looking for direction, I encourage you to take action and attend a service. Be surrounded by others that share similar beliefs.
Usually every month many of the employees at our office volunteer to help a local community organization. We have volunteered at Habitat for Humanity. Our simple man power helped their team get ready for more local home builds. The Susan G Komen Race for the Cure was a wakeup call for me on how many local people are affected by cancer. It was also a wakeup call for me on how out of shape I am. We have spent the day working at The Toledo Food Bank. As a former Marine, it was an honor to hand out food to local Veterans and those in need. My wife and our two young boys have spent time working with Vision Kitchen. Being hands on and making a difference first hand is a priceless experience. Each time, I get a ton more back than I give out.
Over the years, my wife and I have tried to take an active role in supporting local youth. For six years, we ran the after school program for Junior Achievement of Northwest, Ohio. In this incredible program we taught high school students how to set up and run a successful business. In our six years of volunteering over $85,000 in college scholarships were given out to high school students in our program. Last month, my family and I got to see one of the boys, now a man in the military, get married. I can confidently say him and his wife are the people who we need to lead our Country back in the right direction. It was easy to get involved when it was an area we were passionate about.
In September, I got the chance to see 6 to 10 year olds make a difference in The Boy Scouts of America, as our Pack 101 in Waterville collected food in their annual Scouting for Food program. This is a community wide program that is making a big difference directly to local families in need. Although there are great stories from Scouts all around Northwest, Ohio, I am impressed with the impact our local Pack had since I was actively involved as a parent and leader. Between volunteers and Scouts over 186 man hours were put in to gather 426 bags of groceries that were donated to The Whitehouse Food Panty. The simple choice of many local residents to set out a few items on their front steps and the decision by a group of youth to take action is now helping feed 57 local families.
Many of us take this time of year to reflect upon what we are thankful for. What a great time of year it is. I want to say thanks to many of you, even those who I haven’t had the chance to personally meet, but through the powers that be that have made a difference in my life. I encourage you to take this time and think about what you are thankful for and take action. Decide what you are passionate about and get out there and make a difference. To find local opportunities and ideas about how you can make a difference visit www.volunteermatch.org or www.serve.gov.
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