One of the most shocking things I thought I learned in the last year was that under the control of Steve Jobs, Apple gave no money to any kind of charity or deserving cause. Like most successful companies we at AJP have always felt that being in business meant being a living breathing part the community that nurtures and feeds us. That a company so dedicated to bettering peoples lives through their technology would avoid corporate giving seemed almost impossible to believe.
It turned out that although there was no public record of Jobs himself donating money, Apple has helped a number of high profile causes including Bono’s Red campaign. Another myth from the internet down the drain and in this case, thank goodness.
Some of our most important clients are people we first encountered while doing work in areas we cared enough about to donate our time and services. The fact that work might eventually follow our corporate and personal philanthropy was the last thing on our minds when we started out. While we worked on projects that would have real value to real people we found ourselves and our employees more inspired and more motivated than ever. With activities based on our annual plans we built new social networks of new friends whom we would have never known and at times, it kept us busy when our normal business cycles were in their slow periods.
We were recently incredibly grateful when another local company decided of their own free will to donate money and time to our local community association. Senstar is a west Ottawa based manufacturer of specialized security alarm systems and they gave thousands of dollars in supplies and a full day of the time of almost every employee in the company when they arrived at our community centre and outdoor rink in early summer. They scrubbed and painted everything that didn’t move, replaced basketball nets, fixed damaged rink boards and even rebuilt our large portable barbecue.
Senstar has made a real difference to a facility that is used by hundreds and hundreds of local kids each year. They have reminded us that a simply helping hand can be incredibly valuable and that you shouldn’t wait to be asked for a helping hand. Look around, that nurturing community could use a little nurturing of its own.