I’ve been in publishing for almost 25 years now and it still amazes me, when we visit our cover story subjects and we start talking to them, just how resilient the human spirit is and how generous we, as people, can be.
Since our very first cover story interview with Punit Shah, in September 2018, we have asked each person to discuss their philanthropic efforts. It’s a requirement that they be willing to speak to that, to be on the cover of Tampa Bay Business and Wealth. You see, philanthropy is at the core of the mission of TBBW – it always has been.
Some subjects we are well-versed in before we even sit down with them – some give loudly. We know the schools they support, the boards they chair or the buildings their family names are on.
And then there are people like Cliff Scott. Quietly shopping for 200 turkeys to give away for Thanksgiving, as he waits for our arrival. We are thankful for you, Cliff. And 200 families will also be soon.
Scott, this month’s cover profile, is likely someone you have not heard of before holding this issue in your hand. We certainly hadn’t, before connecting with him through other leaders in the community who recommended him.
Self-described as pretty unassuming and low-key, he doesn’t seek accolades or attention. Run a web search and you will more than likely find his TBBW story as his only press coverage.
The rapid growth of his business is certainly impressive and his journey getting there has been heart-wrenching at times – and yet, he’s as generous, and genuine, as they come.
These are the stories I get so excited to share with you every month. I get goosebumps just thinking about it! Finding these hidden gems in our community and sharing them with you, our ecosystem, thrills me to no end.
You will get more of this kind of content in the pages of the Philanthropists of the Year section. I challenge you, me and all of us to find ways to give back – no matter how small or insignificant our actions may seem, collectively they add up. We can’t be a great community if we are not a community that does good!
I recently encouraged a local nonprofit to lower its threshold of donations. It was set at $25 and, as I suggested, if 20,000 people each give $1 … that’s $20,000. Each of us can make a difference, no matter how little it may seem.
As Scott says, we can’t all be all about ourselves all the time. There has to be more to our time here on earth.
We love to enjoy the finer things of life. We love to celebrate our wins. Of course we do – we’re humans; it’s ok.
But balance is key. Finding little things to do for others is a way to balance your soul in remarkable ways.
Ironically, just today as I wrote this, a Facebook memory popped up for me. It was when my family was collecting donation items to help the victims of Hurricane Michael, in 2018. Five years ago today, while packing donations for those victims, we found things we thought we had lost as victims of Hurricane Irma, in 2017, that broke our hearts the most. After moving six times in seven months, our last move being back to our home, my husband had lost his most treasured items, which included his wedding ring and championship baseball ring. In our “little” effort to help others, we were rewarded by finding those treasures! Give back people! You never know when you – or someone you love – will be the one in need.
After all, it’s the little things that, collectively, can make a huge impact.
And, if all you have is one second of time, and no money to give, a smile is always free.
CEO & Publisher
Tampa Bay Business & Wealth