The news from the Philippines is heartbreaking and bound to get worse over the next few days as officials and volunteers gather to assess the full damage. I have seen the aftermath of a tornado and realize that that damage was nothing in comparison.
Disasters bring out the giving spirit in people and business, but why does it take a disaster for that to happen? Giving money, goods or your time is always appreciated by someone else and lets us feel good about ourselves.
My sister-in-law didn't know what to do with herself when she retired. She tried a couple different part time jobs but they didn't last long. One day she sent a post that she was volunteering at the local animal shelter, bringing home cats to foster them over the week-ends and posting pictures of dogs trying to find new homes for them.
One of my clients, a small women-owned business, has had several obstacles to overcome in both their personal lives and in the business. Nevertheless, they signed up to adopt a family for Christmas as they do every year. All of their staff participate in this and other charitable programs.
The "return on investment" from giving to others can't always be measured in definitive terms but the act of selflessness is always returned in some manner.