Giving Thanks by Giving Back

Thanksgiving is emerging as my favorite holiday. Nestled between the over-commercialized Halloween and Christmas, it tends to fly under the radar, and what’s not to like? Friends, family, food – and yes – more food! There’s no pressure to come up with a clever costume or the perfect gift. It’s a holiday that requires very little. Fix a meal to share with family and friends, sit back and enjoy – and, of course, be thankful.


A few years ago, my mother started a new tradition where we all – kids and grandkids included – write down what we are thankful for that particular year. Prior to dinner, she pulls out responses from previous years and reads them aloud and we all guess who wrote each one. After enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, she reads the responses from the current year. Tears are typically shed and it is an important (and fun) reminder of how truly blessed we are. My kids now look forward to this every year and it has quickly become one of our favorite traditions.


While taking time to acknowledge the people and things we are thankful for is important, it is not enough. It’s the first step, but the real power is when you recognize how fortunate you are and let that inspire you to take action. I am fortunate to have incredible parents that lived this value and instilled it in me. It wasn’t something they talked about, but rather, was taught by example. They got involved in the community, gave back, and often included us kids in the process. Whether serving on a board, planning fundraisers or hosting kids from the orphanage in our home several times a year to celebrate their birthdays, it seemed there was always something they were involved in to positively impact our community.


Inspired by my parents, I have tried to carry on this value and philosophy in how I live my life personally and professionally. I started my business, Intrinzic, to make a bigger impact – with the clients we work with, our fellow team members, and in our community. Giving back is one of our core values and we strive to consistently live up to this – whether it is providing pro-bono services for organizations like the Greater Cincinnati Boys and Girls Clubs, participating in a community project as a team like collecting and wrapping Christmas gifts for the less fortunate, or simply participating in the United Way Campaign.


I can only hope that by allowing this value to drive my actions, I also am setting an example. Most importantly for my three kids, but also for those that I interact with on a regular basis. About six months ago, we had an employee leave for another great career opportunity. When she left, she wrote me a note with a lot of nice things to say about her time at Intrinzic. What I remember most from that note, however, is how she was inspired by me to give back and get involved in the community. I am very proud of this and it fuels me to continue this quest to make a positive impact.


I hope that as we all enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday and count our blessings, we also we use it as a time to reflect and think about how we can take action to make a difference for those around us.