BENEVOLENCE 2017-05-22T14:26:33+00:00
TLC Outreach project cheque

BENEVOLENCE

Have you ever had the urge to want to give to those in need but do not know how to go about it?

By reading my comments below you will have the opportunity to give back to those in desperate need and see for yourself just how easy it is and rewarding.

There are two ways in which you can achieve your personal goal of giving:

  • By giving of your time freely
  • By financially supporting causes of your choice

In my heart, I truly respect those who are willing to give of their time more freely.

As the saying goes, “never give an idle person a task to do”.

My generosity in giving to needy causes has been kept private most of my life without it becoming public knowledge. The reason for this choice being that it has never been about seeking public recognition but always been about giving from the heart.

Although we need to guard ourselves against negative comments by not allowing the minority of people to affect our emotions, admittedly it is sad and difficult at the same time to ignore negative comments which are made by people who hardly know you. Some of these may be comments or situations such as “So let’s see how Mike Russon who has done so well financially actually gives back”. Or simply in the world we live in today which is riddled with social media and internet initiatives, where at least 61% of people sadly feel it unnecessary to have the urge to first confirm any hearsay or facts about a person via these resources in most cases. Or alternatively rather choosing to prove your unconditional giving as incorrect by judging you purely by the perception of such media sources rather than finding out the facts in person.  It is for this reason that I have chosen to share some of the benevolence initiatives which have been made possible by the giving of my time and financial means for the first time in thirty (30) years.

I am not quite sure on how to achieve success with everyone, but what I do know is that the art of failure is in trying to please everyone.

By choosing to share my benevolence initiatives via the internet, my ultimate wish is to reach out to each of you taking an interest in the many examples I have given in the hope that it would pre-empt you to follow suit and do the same by seeing just how easy it is. With just one person reaching out I will consider this blog as being successful.

Giving from the heart I believe is in the DNA of many, so before sharing my journey of benevolence, let me share with you an example of my DNA at an early age.

“People don’t care how much you know, people care how much you care”

My first recollection of giving back from my heart was when I was in primary school where I gave a brand new 10-speed western flyer away which I won at the tombola store at a school fete worth R100. Trust me when I say that was a lot of money to a kid in primary school 40 years ago.

It was the biggest prize ever to be won with a lucky draw. I won it at the fête and I remember an adult coming over to me and offering me R100 cash for the bicycle. Without any hesitation, I turned his offer down by saying: “no thank you, I am going to be giving it to my younger brother who does not have a bicycle”. As mentioned, giving is often in our DNA, but many have also been inspired by a situation and have given immensely. Let the bible guide you when it says God loves a cheerful giver.

I will shed some further thought on how I have managed to give back through the two examples:

Financially:

  • Enjoyed donating an entire computer room to Panorama Primary School in Western Cape.
  • Enjoyed donating an entire computer room to the Church ofGiving Christ Christian School in Western Cape.
  • Contributing to sending underprivileged talented school kids to America to play soccer, in the hope that talent scouts would recognise their talent and recruit them at a later stage in their life.
  • Paying for many seriously talented children who don’t have the money to complete school.
  • Paying for individuals to complete a varsity degree in business and teaching, again extremely talented individuals.
  • Donating funds to buy a prefab classroom to be erected in a township so the children of between four to six who couldn’t get to school and are now able to attend, as the prefab school is literally brought to them, or having the choice to buy a new Kombi to collect other children who can’t get to them.
  • Donating a motorized wheelchair to a paraplegic within our church.
  • Sponsored an individual to play chess internationally in Greece and another in Namibia.
  • Sponsored golfer whose dad passed on at a young age who had no funds and had already qualified for his Springbok Blazer awarded at Bellville golf course, so funded all his local and international travels until he turned pro. Even once attaining Pro status I still continued to fund him for a period of time.
  • Currently sponsoring a rugby coach in a very poor area where young boys are not exposed to their talents being developed.
  • Supported over 50 charities throughout South Africa when they were fundraising to reach their goal. Many call me and I say I can’t attend the fundraising event but I pledge an amount. Others can be golf day auctions where I am there. It’s sad when the cause is so great to give back to those in desperate conditions and fellow golfers ignore that plea and only bid to bargain hunt. But I do also thank you guys as every penny does help, but hey let’s make a bigger difference.

I can list 50 more but the point is for you to see how you can vary your giving that will make a difference. I will share words of gratitude from people on examples of how easy it is to enrich someone else’s life, even in the smallest of ways and how rewarded you can feel by it.

Time: http://www.streetwise-pma.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Time.jpg

  • Panorama Primary School wanted to build up 100 craftmarketers from scratch for their annual wheel show fête to raise funds. I worked weekend after weekend visiting every craft market within a 30 km radius to convince them to rent a site for the day on the Panorama Wheel Show. On the opening day, I secured over 150 craft marketers. For the past 10 years, they have all remained and it’s only grown stronger.
  • I was also on their PTA, to help raise funds for the year. Being a government school, funds were always short. It is amazing how I was working a minimum of 12 hours a day and still attended all the PTA meetings, did their golf day, craft marketers etc, and we never complained. Then you get some of the moms who don’t even work nor contribute but can only complain! You always get the doers and the don’t-doers.
  • At the Church of Christ Christian School, I put aside time for the entire year to teach a class marketing skills and management. At the end of the year the Minister said “can you put into practice what you have taught them theoretically”, so when I was in Taipei on business I had sourced a product I believe would sell well in South Africa. It was a magic towel, to which you simply add water and it expands into a face cloth or full sized towel. I was pleased the Ministers’ son who was only 14 years at the time made over R3000 net profit after paying back the product costs in just less than 30 days. Others made around R500 to R2800. Not bad pocket money for kids to earn 20 years ago.

As mentioned before, I think most of my teachers would be turning in their graves if they heard I was teaching at a school.

Digressing slightly, always teach your children the value of earning your own money. My children from the ages of eight knew if they wanted a car at 18, they would have to put down 10% deposit. I would let them go to areas that I knew were safe and I would let them sell magic towels to all the neighbours and they often made up to R800 in a day. Not bad for more than 15 years ago.

Keira, Kyle and Kelvin have all saved their 10% towards their cars from the sale of magic towels and other opportunities. Well done my children, I am very proud of you for that achievement and many others. Keira would also put her magic towels in a craft market shop in Table View and later canal walk, so she learnt to multiply herself to make more money than she would be able to do herself physically. The children made thousands.

Let’s go back to examples of giving of time:

  • Taking children out of their orphanage every year and having a Christmas party with them, giving a spit braai and a present for all the kids. I dressed up as Santa and they always had to chase me first. I was embarrassed one year as it was so hot with my Santa outfit on and thought a cold beer would be nice, but then as I took a sip the children were already unleashed and hunting for Santa and screamed there’s Santa and chased me with my beer in my hand. I later learnt some could not believe Santa enjoyed beer, they thought it was only milk and cookies. I made sure at the next Christmas party never to touch beer again.
  • Used to go to places where abandoned children were sent to live and take them out for an occasion and enjoy big macs from Mc Donalds afterwards.
  • Seeing hundreds of people to simply offer what business advice I can give to them and personal advice if able to. This is all done from the heart of giving expecting nothing in return.

Once again I can add more examples, but wish to add the above is an illustration of what you also can give of your time to make a difference. Make no mistake there are people out there who do tenfold what I do and I truly have a deep respect for them.

As mentioned earlier, I took the liberty of keeping some of the thank you letters I have received over the years. These are letters from people who thanked me for the difference I have made in their lives. Sometimes we don’t think we can make a difference, but I encourage you to read some letters and I hope it will inspire you to say “hey, I could also have done that”, then take action and go forward making a difference to someone else.

There have also been some bizarre situations of my giving and some stories you would never believe possible. I challenge you to read at least one of them!

They are on the blog links underneath labelled bizarre situations.

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