When aspiring entrepreneurs dream about business success, they most often think about the money they’ll hopefully earn, the homes they’ll buy and the cool cars they’ll drive. Those things can be, and often are among the perks that can come with success.
I’ve learned during the past decade in my life and career that one of the true benefits of success is actually is the opportunity to give back. I now consider myself fortunate to be in a position where I can help those who need it the most.
Watch the news and you’ll see where needs exist. Earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, and many other natural disasters are being reported on a regular basis. When these tragedies occur, it’s rewarding to see how many people willingly give their time, talents and resources to help repair what’s been broken and heal those who have been most affected.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” He’s right. Having learned that firsthand, I’m humbled to have the opportunity to help others in need. I take my responsibility very seriously and I think those of us who have enjoyed a modicum of success have a duty to give back.
One of my most meaningful experiences with giving back on a large scale took place in the past two years. In September 2017, Chiapas, Mexico was hit by one of the deadliest earthquakes in Mexican history. It registered a full 8.2 on the Richter Scale. And not long after that, a second earthquake hit central Mexico. It killed 370 people, injured more than 6,000 and caused widespread damage across Mexico City and surrounding areas.
Children were among the most adversely affected by the two earthquakes. Afterward, the schools were unsafe to enter. No child deserves to be forgotten about or left behind, and that education should be our number one focus for the benefit of all in the future.
I’m dedicated to helping people who have been impacted by large-scale social issues, and I like to work shoulder-to-shoulder with others who live by a similar philosophy. This is why two years ago, my friend and I co-founded the non-profit Quiet Cove Foundation, which uses innovation to address and find solutions to large-scale social issues.
After the earthquakes in central Mexico, Quiet Cove Foundation joined with All Hands and Hearts, a non-profit organization that helps communities affected by natural disasters. By working together, our organizations successfully recruited more than 300 volunteers who worked long hours to rebuild seven classrooms, an office and a library at Celso Muñoz Primary School in Oaxaca. They also built four new classrooms. Through their efforts, 170 students in first through sixth grades were able to return to school.
This effort was anything but easy. It took a lot of tenacity, dedication and hard work on the part of many people. But we did it. By working together, we were able to get those children back into the classroom. For my part, it was extremely gratifying to attend the unveiling ceremony and see the smiles on their faces.
Since then we’ve continued to help. To date nearly 2,000 students and 350 volunteers from around the world have rebuilt nearly a dozen schools destroyed by the earthquakes in Oaxaca.
I am personally grateful for the time, talents and hard work that were contributed by so many people. Thanks to their efforts, children in Oaxaca again have the opportunity to grow and thrive. And our Quiet Cove Foundation will continue working with All Hands and Hearts in the future to rebuild schools while ensuring a safer future for students.