Newsletter Notes Joel

“With Appreciation” from Joel Coffman, Executive Director, 2016: Issue 4

Recognizing good is a wonderful thing when it’s a singular act, but the real power of this idea behind our organization is unlocked when it becomes a constant mindset. During our Business in Community Forum in September, one of our panelists used the term “checking the box” in reference to the approach by some businesses to community involvement. Sometimes this happens with volunteerism as well – my wife and I love to go volunteer for one day with the Austin Parks Foundation on National Trails Day. It feels great, but it’s a little like using 10% of your brain instead of its full capability!

In 2016 I became a dad for the first time, and the idea of permanence really sunk in for me. I’m responsible for my daughter, June, all the time – not just when it’s convenient for me, not just when things are going well, but ALL the time. Parenthood changes a person fundamentally, but I’ve come to believe that a big part of that change is linked to the permanence of a parent’s responsibility.

We see permanence change people in our Legends program all the time – folks who don’t just serve others when it’s convenient, but serve others ALL the time. We get an up-close look at businesses who do the right thing ALL the time through our Ethics in Business & Community program, now in its 15th year. I’m so honored to be able to talk with these leaders of both community and commerce, and in doing so it’s plain to see the effect that the permanence of good has on everyone regardless of status or sector. Life’s little frustrations roll right off their backs, and decisions that might otherwise cause stress become simple.

My new year’s resolution is to live in permanent good, and I humbly suggest that anyone reading give it a try. If the folks I’ve been fortunate enough to meet through all of RecognizeGood’s programs are any indication, it will be one heck of an example to set for the little life that I’m now so blessed to be responsible for.

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About RecognizeGood

RecognizeGood: THE Foundation (commonly known as simply RecognizeGood) is a local nonprofit that provides a means for individuals, businesses and other nonprofits to illuminate selfless volunteers, charitable acts and community service throughout the greater Austin area. There are several active RecognizeGood programs that work toward this mission from different angles, but the common theme is simple – the illumination of GOOD in our community.