You are livin “the givin” back!

Livin -“the givin” back!

I am currently on travel to Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. This is the first of three trips made each year to attend meetings and visit my family and even a few childhood-friends. The serious business part of the trip pertains to my duties as member of the Board of Trustees for Emory and Henry College, located in a very small rural community about 30 miles from the East Tennessee border.

I grew up nearby and graduated from this small college about 44 years ago. I am completing my second year of a four-year term as Trustee of the college and I am joined by 30 plus other volunteer Trustees who serve and share together our love for the college. Various walks of life and professions are represented and we  extend back as many as 60 years since graduation with the oldest members on the Board. Without doubt, the driving force behind the serving as a Trustee is the strong desire to give back something out of gratitude for what we individually received as a student or through some other connection with the college.

Jane, a very colorful, musically gifted, and multi-talented Trustee  sent a note to me recently and used the phrase… livin “the givin” back.  This phrase describes about all of the Trustees I have grown acquainted with in my short time.  This is especially true of Jane.

Upon reading the phrase, I immediately thought of Seidy Rodriguez, one of the co-founders of the Learning Center.  After Siedy obtained her college degree, she  returned home to Copey with the vision to do something to help her small community.  She saw the need to start the  Learning Center to help the young students with their education.  She found a way to give back to her community and began the livin “the givin” back journey.  The Learning Center is about 5 years old now and it has survived mostly on volunteer teachers from around the world along with community support to start and keep the Learning Center operating.

I also think many of the “friends of Copey” are motivated by the desire to give back something.  We recognize that our lives have been blessed in one or more ways. We know that someone or someplace made a difference somewhere along the way in our lives and without it, we would be less fortunate and far less successful. If we look closely, we see in our past a special teacher, or a school, a relative, or friend, perhaps an experience made a significant or life changing positive difference in our journey through life. There are many accounts when just a word or phrase, a small gesture or deed changed or redirected the course of life for many.  Livin  “the givin” back is a lot of what we do as “friends of Copey”.

Are you one of those wondering why you are involved or connected as a follower of “friends of Copey”? This is a great question. Why be concerned about kids living in a small town in Costa Rica?  For me, I was taken by Seidy’s desire to do something for kids. I was attracted by the idea that “with many working together,  each doing just a little, much could be done”.  This small town is very different from towns in America.  It does not have a truck load of resources on hand to do much…no Rotary or Kiwanis Club, no Junior Achievement, no United Way, and certainly very little if any government support.

Our support as “friends” is welcomed by the Learning Center because we work hard to help meet its needs but not interfere and impose ourselves on the Learning Center. We only want to provide assistance and support without strings attached.  Please read or re-read the recent letter from the Learning Center’s Board Chairwoman.  She expresses on behalf of her Board and the community their gratitude for the support we provide.

What is expected of a “friend of Copey”?  Really, not much. For those of us who pray…please continue to pray!  For those of us who believe positive thinking generates positive results and outcomes…spend time each day thinking positive thoughts about our efforts.  For those inclined to want to do more, keep informed and be on watch. At times, a special request may come along that will touch you and inspire you to go beyond praying and thinking. You may have an idea, a talent, a skill or knowledge that will help the cause.  Finally, even a small donation may be part of your involvement although never required as a “friend”.  In all instances, you will be livin “the givin” back.

Please realize as a follower, each of you contributes something just by reading the Posts. The Blog records “visits” to the Post and lets me know people are following and keeping in touch. As a result, I report to the Learning Center that we are growing in numbers and interest remains strong in what is we are trying to do.  If you do not visit the Blog, our numbers drop.  This is why I continue to ask you to be a dedicated follower and to share this Blog with family members and friends because Blog numbers matter a great deal.  Thank you very much for your interest and ongoing encouragement.  Send a note or email anytime you want to share anything with me.  I always look forward to connecting with you and enjoy you being on this journey.

2 thoughts on “You are livin “the givin” back!”

  1. Art, your words are inspirational as well as a reminder of what we can do as “Friends.” Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts in these blogs–it reminds me of why I’m a Friend, and why I share the Copey story with others. We WILL make a difference! Thanks for being the kind of leader we can follow!


  2. Art the work you and “Friends of Copey” are doing is wonderful. There is much to be said about livin “the givin” back! Reminds me of the working with students for years on “reaching back and bringing a younger student along.” For many of us there was a favorite teacher, parent, athlete or community volunteer that in some way contributed to who we are today. So being a friend to the students/Learning Center in Copey is something I can do to say thank you to those that helped me.

Leave a Reply