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In-house Access Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

It’s the End of the Year, and What Have You Done?

Posted in ACC Docket


Borrowing from John Lennon’s song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” the year is over, so what have you done? No matter what holiday you celebrate — or even if you don’t celebrate at all — this is the last month of 2012. My children think the Maya calendar means that none of us will be here after Dec. 21. I think this is a reasonable way to get out of buying holiday gifts.

But, when I start seeing the stories behind CNN’s Heroes, it makes me pause and wonder what I’m really doing on a volunteer basis. Maybe it’s the Type A in me, but I wonder if I can do more. A few people, like the ones who are profiled in CNN’s Heroes, are making a positive difference in hundreds of lives. And, these people don’t do it with huge budgets. They often don’t have access to the best industry consultants or celebrity endorsements. They see a need and they act on it. They aren’t oblivious to injustice and human frailty. Often times, their actions can put them in danger; regardless, they continue to make a positive impact on those less fortunate.

I read an article recently about a non-traditional church (based on ethics rather than religion) that gave each volunteer from the congregation $100. The only deal was they had to give it away. For many of us, this amount of money is small. How could $100 really help someone else or some organization in need?

I know that many of you volunteer in your local community or perhaps through a formalized pro bono program in your organization. But for those who don’t, someone out there needs you, your expertise and your perspective. Please consider making a change in 2013.

Start small. Think big. You won’t regret it.


Kim Howard