Just recently my sister and I visited our family farm in South Carolina. Our goal was to clean out some of the debris from years long past and thieves rooting the old home place that was our grandparent’s house so that it can be renovated and made livable again. The house has been vacant for nearly two decades.
We uncovered old photographs, tattered lace and fabric doilies made by our grandmother, odd pieces of cut glass vases and bowls, and lots of odd kitchen utensils, that were useful 10-20 years ago, but has since lost its usefulness.
As we walked around the property we pointed out various things made by someone in the family. What we talked about more than the house or the old handmade pillows was the memories. In addition to the memories that we cherish, We also value the legacy left to us by our grandparents and parents.
As a business leader, I work just as steadily as my grandparents did to create something that will be left as my legacy in my community.
It’s been said that if you do something you love, you’ll never work again. This is true for me. The work that I do at Goodwill to uplift people in the community and to encourage and support my staff are certainly building a legacy of empowerment. I also empower leaders and their organizations as a consultant. When people are empowered through training, education and skill building they have what the need to build legacies for their families.
Here are a few keys to building a legacy for your community:
1. Assess the needs of the community by asking those you seek to serve what the needs are
2. Identify the available resources (financial, community assets and infrastructure)
3. Identify community partners (you can’t do anything alone)
4. You need to have a great desire to serve
Once you have these things in place, you can begin building a sustainable future that your grandparents would be proud of and those coming behind you will cherish.