Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Dollar Here; A Dollar There

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, September 17, 2008

Neal Boortz, in his book, Somebody’s Gotta Say It, outlined a great way to save money. He suggested that you never spend another dollar bill except for tips and tolls. When you buy a loaf of bread you do not pay for it in dollar bills, you only pay for it with a $5.00 bill or higher. Do what you will with the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters but put the dollar bills in a jar and do not spend them.

I tried it starting in July of 2008 and by the date of this Nugget, a little more than 2 months; I had put aside over $200.00 in one dollar bills. Enter Hurricane Ike. The devastation caused by Ike is beyond words. Living in Slidell, Louisiana near where Hurricane Katrina came ashore, I can appreciate what the residents of southeast Texas are now experiencing.

I have no idea what other corporations or businesses did during Hurricane Katrina but I can tell you what Keller Williams Realty International did for its associates and market center owners immediately after Katrina. It was announced only days after Katrina that associates who lived and worked in the devastated areas would have access to $5,000 as a grant. Where did the money come from? Approximately one year prior to Katrina, Keller Williams Realty International opened an account that Keller Williams Realty associates could donate to. From this fund grants or no interest loans could be authorized to Keller Williams’ associates who had fallen upon difficult times through no fault of their own such as serious medical situations, illness or natural events such as Hurricane Katrina.

The problem was that there was about $200,000 in the account when Katrina struck and there were over 750 associates in the affected area. Simple math reveals that over $5,000,000 was needed to make that offer of assistance. Within weeks the over 70,000 Keller Williams stepped to the plate by donating directly to the company’s fund, called Keller Cares, to where there was sufficient funds to satisfy the company’s commitment. As a side note, a great many associates also donated or provided assistance directly to individual associates through the affected Gulf Coast. Actions speak volumes about my company.

Now we have Hurricane Ike and Gustav and thousands have been affected. I am confident that Keller Cares will once again step the plate to help those Keller Williams Associates to get over this hurdle. I felt a need to do something and immediately thought of the jar that contained over 200 $1.00 bills. That money will be donated to Keller Cares.

The Keller Cares story is referred to in this Nugget because people other than Keller Williams’ associates read the Nuggets for the Noggin. For those who do, I would strongly recommend that they encourage the businesses they work for to consider establishing a charitable fund within their company to help company employees and associates. I also encourage every individual who reads this Nugget to seriously consider never again spending a $1.00 bill. Save the $1.00 bills, one-at-a-time, and then to use the money for the good of your neighbors who are in need. You do not have to look very far to find someone needing help. And remember, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” The next unforeseen disaster could engulf you and then it will be you that needs the help of your neighbors.

No comments: