By Zak Clayton | March 26, 2020
As I sit here broken hearted-okay, just broken-after taking a fall on a patch of ice and the proposition of spending the next four months with my big butt hopping around on one leg, I have a lot of fear and uncertainty of the unknown. At the same time, I am excited to try to put new things into play. Someone once told me that if you work in a company that has one employee-one person doing most of the work-you have a company with no value. Well, there has never been a better time than right now to make this change. While there have been people who have supported Community Pay it Forward Fundraising with huge amounts of passion and energy, it is time for the business to bring on people to help drive the future of fundraising and community outreach.
Community Pay it Forward Fundraising has-as anyone who has been here from the beginning can tell you-morphed so many times that it is like I have owned six or seven different companies since June 6th, 2015. Starting originally as an event planning company to where we are now with Community Pay it Forward, Community Cares, and the Cub Club, we went from CCEP.biz to claytonconsulting.org to CommunityPIF.com. The memories. The decisions. The what was I thinking? Logos have gone from ultra-colorful full-sized polar bears to cute baby bears to where we are now. We went from being a company known in the biker world to gaining traction in other lifestyles. Up until now, the one thing that truly has not changed much is almost every decision was made by me and me alone. Please let me guide you back to the top; a company with only one voice has no value. Yes, I changed it a little bit.
We have recently brought on a couple of young and energetic friends who have shown love for our mission. Makayla Watson is now the Community Pay it Forward Director of Sales and Keypher Gough (Key4) has jumped in with both feet and taken charge of the Donation Dens and is helping Community Cares put together our 2020 events. They are excited about joining us on the ground level and helping us build our company. In the beginning of March, I will be meeting with students at UNC to tell them about the program and how they can be involved. We are offering to host our After-Hours Networking and Fundraising Dinners to restaurants throughout the Colorado and Cheyenne area to fundraise for local causes and spread the Community Pay it Forward mission. This is the truth, the only truth; our mission can only be successful if our partners and the community are successful, and if we can help others in need. Kids are so much more involved with the world than we were at their age. Being aware of what is going on is fantastic. There is a lack of awareness that needs to be addressed. People unaware of their surroundings are finding themselves in trouble because people are finding ways to educate each other to hurt and use people around them. This is sickening, but even more, it is scary. If we, and I myself have been very guilty of this, do not educate ourselves in the way that these criminals are training others on how to maximize the effects of what they do, the more they are going to win. Bringing in young voices will help spread the word. Coming up with effective ideas to spread messages and awareness to our community.
We also are so proud to keep working and extend the roll of our more experienced community friends. While we may not have all the energy, we do have experience in certain situations that will hopefully be very invaluable, and dare I say, educational? I am joking. Well, kind of. Bringing together two groups who have not always seen eye to eye may not be the smartest of all ideas, but we think it can be. Tolerance can be a start to making the deepest and strongest change in the community. Learning from each other and learning about each other can be a positive community strengthening experience that will lead to improvement and health for our neighbors and friends.
The generation gap guarantees a couple things that some may see as risky; I see them as extremely beneficial. Beginning with generational differences: the saying “what once was old is new again” makes so much sense. I mean, come on, the mullet!! The way things are taught are much different from when we were young. Generally, however, the end results are the same. Discovering the means to an end has changed. There is, without a doubt, more of an analytical or scientific approach to answers as the older generations were more spiritual or religious. As the owner of a business, I find it very important to not only investigate but also to have some knowledge of all ways of thinking. Spirituality has a different meaning to everyone. Some find comfort in belief and prayer, while others find peace and solace in meditation and yoga. Having experience with both is going to benefit many. That is the goal of Community Pay it Forward Fundraising.
There is so much involved with our mission. There are so many pieces needed to make this happen. There is a desire that is very present in the community to help. We can be the conduit to make this happen. We, together, can make a simple process turn into a support program that is very successful for so many people in the community. Including local causes, local business, and you! Where else can you ask people to donate to a cause without spending any extra money? Where else can you guarantee that your purchases not only benefit your family, but the wellbeing of others in need in our community?
Our community has so many different meanings to people. Some are born and raised. Some are transplants from a different life. Some have just come home again. We are looking for you to help our program, bring light to our program, and bring to life the true meaning of Our Community.
As I sit here broken, I am so excited about a chance to build our community. I ask you, please, come help The Community, Our Community, become whole.