Thursday, April 17, 2014

Networks of Love

Easter is a celebration of Christ’s love for the world and a reminder of our calling to love others. Americans have always sought meaningful ways to express their love in service to others. Just as Americans value effective business models, we value effective charitable models. Indeed, the most famous early colonial speech was John Winthrop’s “Model of Christian Charity.” Read more at Philanthropy Daily.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Everest College Commencement Address

Everest College Commencement
April 4, 2014

Thank you President Wynne, ladies and gentlemen, graduates. Congratulations on finally getting to this great evening.

Most of you are going into service professions—careers where you’ll work with people to heal, protect, or promote health and wellness. And most of you will be right here in this community, making a difference in people’s quality of life every day that you go to work.

But let me challenge you do one more thing: get involved in community service. Many of you are already doing this. It can take so many forms. Tutoring a child, joining a service club, volunteering for a food bank, serving on a nonprofit board, or becoming active in your religious congregation.

In my service as a state legislator, I have come to realize the nobility of public service as well as the limitations of government. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it will take to solve the big problems that confront the South Puget Sound region. And government can do some things, but government can’t do everything. What we need more than anything else are volunteers who care about their neighbors.

Solutions to our community’s biggest challenges are within our grasp if we work together. You don’t need a PhD or a title like CEO to get together with friends to do something great. Friendship is the most powerful force in the world. That’s always been the case. What’s new is that we live in the age of networks—an age when anybody with a good idea can make a website, start a Facebook page, or Tweet 140 characters that will change the way people think about the world around them.

And speaking of brevity, we can talk all we want about making a difference. But let’s get on with the ceremony so you can get out and do it. Thanks for your commitment to a career in service to your fellow human beings. God bless you all.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The voluntarism fantasy?

“Food banks are wonderful. But not as wonderful as food stamps.” This is the caption for a photo of volunteers sorting and packing food, featured with a recent Slate blog post by Jordan Weissmann. The post is entitled “Why Charity Can’t Replace the Safety Net.” It refers to an article by Mike Konczal in Democracy entitled “The Voluntarism Fantasy.” Konczal says that conservatives have missed the lessons of history. See more at Philanthropy Daily.