The holidays are here, and everybody is in the spirit of giving back. But what does giving back really mean to you? There are many wonderful people in the world who do so much to help out others in need, but the sad reality is there are many people who look out for themselves with little thought for others. You have bills to pay, mouths to feed, you need a new car, a new house; you don't have any extra cash to donate to somebody you don't even know. While you're worrying about saving up for a sports car, someone else is worried about having enough to put food on the table, to keep their family safe and fed, worrying about losing their mother to cancer. The last thing they are worried about is themselves.

A majority of Canadians have so much to give, even if they don't think so. Sometimes all they need is to be asked. A perfect example is our ability to round up our Cutco customers' orders for the 2 charities we support, Front Row Foundation and Free the Children. Literally all you need to do is ask. I usually round up to the next $5, so if their order total came to $271.15, I would ask if they want to round it up to $275.00. The difference seems so insignificant to them, that they almost always say yes. If they were nice enough to take time out of their day to see your demo, they will most likely be nice enough to donate a few dollars to help out those in need. If they have a larger order, like $2374.96, ask for $2400. If they were splitting the order up over 5 months, they're donating $5 a month, $1.25 a week, $0.18 a day. They won't even notice it, no matter what their income is. If they say no, “No problem Mrs. Jones, what about $2380?” Just drop down with other rounding up options, like you would selling a set. However, its unlikely they would say no to a $5 donation, but if they do, just round to the nearest dollar, “How about $2375?” There is no excuse why less than 20% of our orders are rounded up. There is no reason why it can't be over 50%. In 2015 we raised a total of over $3000 for our charities through our round-up campaign. If all we did was round up half of our orders, just by asking, we could more than double that number for next year. giving-back-quotes-3

What does giving back mean to me? I never thought about it much, I didn't think I had enough to give back. I was saving money for school, spending money on my car, going to concerts, I needed every dollar I could get. It wasn't until my uncle Ryan was diagnosed with ALS that it really started to mean something to me. When I first found out it didn't even seem real. I saw all the videos on Facebook with the ice bucket challenge but I never thought about donating because it didn't affect me at all. Ryan was 40 when he passed away on December 2nd 2015, leaving behind his wife Jehn and three little boys Max, Sam, and Eli. Ryan was diagnosed in September of 2014, and it got worse very quickly. Within a few months he couldn't walk, and felt very weak. He soon lost his job, couldn’t get around his own house, feed himself, breathe on his own, and the thing he absolutely hated the most, he couldn't play with his boys. You think it would be safe to say it ruined his life, but it didn't. He was still the same happy and caring guy he was before, cracking jokes about making his wheelchair faster and how his breathing apparatus made him sound like Darth Vader and look like an elephant. It was then that I really realized what kind of person he was, and what kind of person I wanted to be. In Vector there's a lot of up's and a lot of down's. The hard part is staying positive during the down's, like when my truck was stolen in the summer, along with all of my knives, tools, sunglasses; everything, with none of it being covered by insurance. I basically just lost $13,000 overnight, while trying to sell it and pay for school. I would usually be torn apart by that, but I thought about my uncle, and how he managed to man up and stay positive during a much worse time than I was going through. He was a positive influence on me and to many others, and I wanted to give back to him in some way. So for the SC2 push week this past summer, I donated a percentage of my earnings to ALS, and ended up raising $1000. That was a big chunk of what I earned in the push week, but it felt good to give. I could have used it to help replace my truck and knives, but giving back felt so much more satisfying.

I'm not saying that everyone has to go out and donate $1000 to a charity to make yourself feel good. I remember one time I was out at a bar with some friends. We went outside and I noticed a homeless man talking to everyone and handing out cigarettes to the smokers. He came around to me and we started talking. He lost his wife and job when he went through a tough time mentally, and was soon out on the streets unable to find work. He wasn't looking for money, he was just looking for people to talk to. At one point I asked my friend if he had any $5 bills and the homeless man, who's name was Mark, handed me $5 from his pocket. It is crazy that even though he had so little, he just wanted to give back and help out. I told him to keep his money and instead I gave him $40 to get some food or whatever he needed. $40 to me was probably a lot less than that $5 was to him, yet he was willing to give it up for someone he didn't even know. All of my friends thought I was crazy, “Dude that's like 7 beers! What were you thinking?!” I just laughed it off, seeing that guy's face and knowing I probably made a pretty big difference in his day was worth the 7 beers.

My point is, it doesn't take much to make someone else feel good. Making someone's day will always deep down make you feel good. So round up your orders a few cents or even a few dollars. The difference may seem small, but it goes a long way, especially if we all contribute. Don't forget to give back during the holidays, and for the rest of next year!