Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a week in San Francisco, CA to attend DreamForce, a large conference hosted by SalesForce. Though the conference was primarily about using technology to enhance organizational reach and efficiency, I was very excited to find that the conference leaders placed a large emphasis on philanthropy and giving back.
Throughout the week, I found that two themes in particular reminded me of our work at the Foundation:
1) A hero is an ordinary person doing incredible things
Our first session started with an empowering pep-talk from Kid President (if you’re not familiar with Kid President, check out this video). He spoke about how we all have the potential to be a hero. He explained that a hero is simply an ordinary person doing incredible things. When I heard this, I thought about the countless heroes we have within the soccer community. Across the nation, organizations are utilizing the game in amazing and innovative ways to make a positive impact on the lives of youth. Through the beautiful game, these organizations are providing children with the opportunity to play, grow, and enjoy new experiences. These organizations are composed of ordinary people doing incredible things; these coaches, mentors, and volunteers are community heroes.
2) We are all philanthropists
While at the conference, I had the opportunity to listen to a Q&A with author and philanthropy educator Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen. During the Q&A, she explained that a philanthropist isn’t just someone who donates money. In fact, a philanthropist is anyone who donates their time, money, passion and/or compassion to transform our world. After listening to this definition, I realized that we are all philanthropists in our own way. From the young student who collects Passback equipment to donate to players in need, to the volunteer who donates their time to serve as a coach-mentor to the children on his/her team, we all have something to offer. By giving a little bit of ourselves to benefit the world around us, we can all contribute to a greater good.
We do not need to be a billionaire or have super powers to make an impact in the world. If we just follow our passion and give a little something of ourselves, we can all be the heroes and philanthropists needed to make a difference.