The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
Gratitude is a thought that frequently comes to mind in the holiday season. While we will always face challenges, we have much to be grateful for as 2014 quickly comes to a close. Many of us get involved in good works as a way to serve our community and those less fortunate. I was once told that the life script of a mover was that of a rescuer: Someone who is willing to step into a difficult situation and make things better. I am proud to say that CMSA, its chapters and members have done and continue to do good works for their communities.
CMSA members’ individual efforts supporting churches, service clubs and their local communities are too numerous to mention so I will focus on a review of Association programs.
No. 1 on the list of CMSA charitable activities is our industry-leading scholarship program. Providing opportunities for both academic and vocational scholarships, our program has awarded more than $796,000 to young people from within the CMSA family. At our 2015 Convention, we are scheduled to award another $55,000 and have awarded at least $50,000 every year since 2003. The success of this program is dependent on the significant volunteer effort of the presidents and membership of our Associations 12 chapters.
Special Olympics is a program that is near and dear to many in our Association. Hopefully, you’ve been present at a Convention awards luncheon and witnessed a Special Olympics ambassador thanking our members for our continued support. As a result of member generosity, CMSA provides an annual financial contribution, currently $5,000 to the program. Of even greater value, CMSA member companies provide Special Olympics with storage of event materials and even moving when needed.
Move for Hunger is a relatively new program for our Association. In our first year of participation, CMSA member companies, currently 43 participating companies, have donated more than $5,000 and have facilitated food donations of 170,225 lbs., providing 141,854 meals.
Additionally, individual CMSA chapters have organized toy drives for children’s hospitals and needy children, worked with electronic recycling programs that benefit both the community and CMSA charities and began a Habitat for Humanity program.
We are thankful for all of the individual efforts that have made our Associations’ programs so successful, not just in terms of dollars or pounds but in the real impact it has had on people’s lives. I know that as a group, we will continue to make things better for our industry as well as the communities we serve. On behalf of the CMSA staff (Renee, Brianna and Gale), my family and I, we wish you a joyous holiday season shared with those you hold dear and all the best in the year ahead!
- CMSA Communicator