Glen Ivy Giving Profile: Jim Root
Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to help support a cause that you’re passionate about. While some choose to volunteer abroad, others see the need for help right in their own communities. This week Glen Ivy’s CEO/President, Jim Root, shared with me the different ways he volunteers his time and energy to various organizations that his two sons are involved in and how it enhances his own life.
Q: What organization or cause did you support and what inspired you?
A: I volunteer my time and energies to our local Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Little League Baseball. My sons Jimmy, 11, and Chris, 8, participate in these groups as do their classmates and friends. I appreciate the opportunities they provide for life lessons and reinforcing values that I believe in; not only for my boys but for me as well.
Q: What was your contribution, and are you able to see results from your efforts?
A: As in any organization or group, what you get out of something is reflected in what you put into it. For me, personally, I get the opportunity to be a “big kid” who’s been there and gets to do it all over again. I try to bring perspective and appreciation of “seeing with a beginner’s eyes” and not getting caught up in the process of winning or accomplishing a task. It’s all a lot of fun for me and I try to share that with the boys so they have fun with it too.
Q: How has this experience affected you?
A: As the leader of a large company with almost 500 employees, that welcomes over 250,000 guests each year and working for a Board of Directors and 17 shareholders, it keeps me grounded that all these folks were kids playing on a field together someplace (and to a large degree, hopefully still are kids at heart) and to see the goodness and intentions in people and not the stress and strain of everyday life.
Q: How would you encourage others to get involved (what would it take)?
A: I’m a very passionate bird-watcher and have lead countless walks in some very interesting places. There is always a question about when are we going to see a such and such bird…and my response is always that it’s not important what we see but that we see…the same is true for getting or being involved: It’s not important what you do, it’s that you do and in your own way, you “pay it forward.” I’ve seen it with the connection made in honestly and appreciatively saying “good job” to a kid, in the joy it brought to a parent who saw effort and engagement in their child, and I’ve experienced it from strangers who said “good job” to me for being involved. Those gifts are priceless and I would encourage everyone do pitch-in where they could. There is never enough paying-it-forward for all that could use it.
How do you help encourage those around you to get involved in helping others? Post your comment below.