Saturday, December 6, 2008

But What If We Were Feeding Starving Children?

As a marketer, there have been plenty of stressful times in my career when my team is trying to get that brochure out, a Web site up, or launching a new national campaign. There have been times when the trivial became monumental and a quick perspective check was needed. In those moments, I usually pulled my team together here and asked a simple question – “Hey, is what we are doing as important as feeding starving children?” The answer has always been ‘no’. Those moments of clarity usually helped the team realize there are far more important things in life happening than a brochure, and ad, or an email campaign.

But what if what I was doing was indeed feeding starving children?

In early November I was laid off from my job. I’ve had the chance to look into a lot of jobs at some amazing companies, with amazing products, and equally amazing people. But one thing that has resurfaced for me is my passion for making a real and fundamental difference in the lives of people. I spent seven years as a consultant with non profits, and I continue to be drawn back to the desire to do work that has meaning.

What if I could do something that fed starving children?

I am blessed. I have never gone to bed hungry from a lack of food in the house. Nor have I ever slept outside because I had no home. And even in the hardest of times, my family has always had good health and a wonderful group of friends and family that have been there to see us through to the other side. Each night my wife and kids and I sit at the dinner table and share a meal. Some evenings we play games; everything from Apples to Apples to Zooreka. Sometimes we pop some corn and watch home movies, or just hang out and do our own thing while music plays in the background. We don’t have a lot, but we have more than most. And likely the most valuable thing we have are options. Many in this world do not.

Yesterday I excitedly applied for a job with Unitus. They’re a microfinancing nonprofit based in Seattle with a goal of reaching 15 million families by 2010. They need a communications director – a job that seems to be ideally suited for my every capability. I read through the description with a growing sense of anticipation as I could capably meet each of the requirements. But what struck me more than anything else was the answer to the question I’d asked a thousand times in my career – is what I am doing as important as feeding starving children?

I think I’ve found a place where I can finally say yes.

-- David Kinard, PCM


You can learn more about Unitus, microfinancing, and ways you too can help make a fundamental difference in the lives of others by visiting:

**Unitus Headquarters:

**Wikipedia entry about microfinancing

**BBC Interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner to Bangladeshi economist Professor Muhammad Yunus on Microfinancing

**Micro Financing to Reduce Poverty

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