I had the distinct honor of hearing the incredible journeys of eight high school seniors who overcame adversity through courage and hope during last week's DJ's Hero Awards luncheon hosted by The Salvation Army in Omaha, Nebraska.
To me, hope is a belief in a better, more positive outcome and is inspired by seeing these amazing young men and women make an impact throughout our community. It is often rare to see young people with such a commitment to serve others. We appreciate their efforts and know that their examples will help build enthusiasm for volunteering and giving back to others.
The D.J.’s Hero Award luncheon was so inspiring. I want to thank the Sokol family, The Salvation Army and Jewel, the keynote speaker for providing hope to others. As Jewel sang and shared her personal journey of survival through family tragedy and years of homelessness, I looked around my table and could see eyes filling up with tears. Especially as she sang one of her biggest hits, “Hands,” which is about the power and strength within us. Jewel found herself being a statistic when she was stealing. First it was food. Then one day, she was in the dressing room shoving a $40 dress into her baggy jeans. She looked in the mirror and realized that she had become something she didn't want to be. The lyrics describe doing “good” with your hands. It was very fitting and I hoped everyone in the room will keep doing good in their communities.
I am humbled by the bravery and undying determination from Jewel and all the scholarship award winners to never give up hope for a brighter future. It was a passionate, dynamic, motivational and unforgettable event. One that I know will bring out the hero in us all and encourage us to grow stronger in our giving.
It was my pleasure for CQuence Health Group to help sponsor the event and I want to thank the many employees who attended, but also thank the many employees who donate to The Salvation Army backpack drive and the Angel Tree, as well as volunteer for bell ringing. The goal of helping others is ingrained in our companies' culture. Employees have always been encouraged and empowered to volunteer and donate to the organizations and causes that mean most to them. Two years ago, we made the decision to offer a unique benefit called volunteer time off (VTO) to allow employees to use paid time off for their volunteer efforts. I encourage all my business colleagues to consider that for your companies. This is our chance to do important rewarding work for each other.