Sure, you can throw money at issues and causes. But what really counts is time. There are many examples of people who take an active part in the finishing industry: lobbying their representatives, heading up various committees, serving on association boards. But there are many who go beyond their job and give their time to other causes.
For example: There is a plater in the Milwaukee area who went out of his way to help a trusting immigrant who was trying to make a living operating an ethnic restaurant. This man had made a deal with an attorney, who helped him finance his restaurant. The immigrant was losing money and turned to this plater (his business neighbor) for help.
This plater looked over the man's "books" and realized that this attorney was not doing right by his client. The Milwaukee shop owner helped the man rectify the situation and open a larger restaurant. The food is delicious, and there is a dinner named after the plater, The Big John.
In Toledo, Ohio, there is a company that supplies painting equipment. The president is active in the Make a Wish Foundation. One of his "retired" employees, Ted Case, is also actively involved in the community.
This company invited me to the Michigan 500 at the Michigan International Speedway. I eagerly accepted. Little did I know that the company had also invited about 20 handicapped children to visit the race track and meet the drivers.
Oh, the faces of these kids as drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Ricky Rudd and Joe Nemechek stopped in the meeting room to sign autographs and talk to the children. They were excited as they held out their programs for the drivers to autograph.
Mr. Case, the retired DeVilbiss employee, also treated these children to lunch and a beautiful poster signed by Jeff Gordon, one of the hottest Winston Cup drivers. I think Mr. Case got as big a charge out of it as the children did.
I am sure there are many others who have gone beyond finishing to make a difference in the lives of others. These are just a few examples. I am thankful I work in an industry with people who care not only about their business, but the lives and issues that surround them and their families. Happy Thanksgiving!