I think trick-or-treating is a fairly universal experience for people in Fayette County. Even if you aren’t a parent preparing little ones for the big night, you’ll probably recall what it was like to plan the perfect costume, consider the best route around your neighborhood to get to all the houses, and the all-important examination of what types of treats made it into your candy bucket.
If you’re like most kids, all candy is technically “good candy,” so we maximized our time to collect the most. Maybe there was that house that gave out full-size chocolate bars or the one that put out a big bowl with a sign that said, “Pick One,” and you could rummage through to find your favorite. You made your way to all the houses your feet could carry you to in order to collect the most candy you could fit in your bucket. At the end of the night, the important aspect was sheer volume. Candy was childhood currency. After all, we could always trade with our friends and siblings to get our favorites.
Adult life is like that, too. How do we maximize our time? Our efforts? Our contributions? We’re all looking for ways to do the most with the resources we have. I know I face the concept of maximizing myself every day. I’m always seeking to spend more time with my kids and to make life more fun, more exciting, and more meaningful for them. For my work life, I’m looking for ways to maximize time with my team, with donors, and with nonprofit organizations in the community. In short, we’re all looking for ways to do the very most with what we have.
That mentality of maximization is why I’m drawn to my work with the Fayette Community Foundation. The endowments we are responsible for remind me of those Halloween candy buckets: each person contributes what they can – whether it’s a roll of Smarties or the full-size Snickers bars – and those contributions add up together to make an even bigger contribution to an area of the community that needs it the most. Just like it takes an entire neighborhood to fill your candy bucket, it also takes a community of people and contributions to make an impact on the areas of need in Fayette County.
Now that you’re grown, you may have already been shopping for bulk deals on your favorite candy in preparation for the big night. The beauty of the holiday as adults is that we do this with no expectation of return from the children. It’s about the fun of seeing them have a good time – and no individual person or household is totally responsible for doing everything to create the magic. Each house adds their piece of candy to the bucket with everyone else’s candy and that magic builds piece by piece.
That “piece-by-piece” experience is also how it works with improving our community. We can maximize our efforts as a whole by contributing what we can individually to compile, grow, and direct these resources to areas that need the most help. All those Smarties, Skittles, M&Ms, and Kit-Kats add up.
Of course, Starbursts and Twizzlers aren’t going to improve access to childcare or help beautify our parks or reduce food insecurity. What we’re really talking about is financial contributions and the point that it takes an entire community to improve things for everyone in Fayette County. My goal is to make supporting your community more accessible so that current generations can get involved sooner in life and make a big impact – both today and in the future. I’m inviting you to add your piece of candy to our community trick-or-treat bucket. Visit givetofcf.com/donate-now to get started or plan to speak with me first to talk about your options. You can reach me at (765) 827-9966, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by our office at 521 N Central Avenue for a chat. In the meantime, have a safe, fun, and deliciously Happy Halloween (my favorite Halloween candy is pink Nerds, by the way).