Giving Tuesday

It's Giving Tuesday!

Today is Giving Tuesday, the day of global generosity that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

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Got Purpose?

How to Fine-Tune Yours by Helping Someone Find (and Fund) Theirs

Purpose. Company taglines publicize it. Philanthropic organizations promote it. Best-selling authors profit from it. However, most adults have tremendous difficulty uncovering theirs (although it’s relatively easy to spot in others). Why? Because purpose can bring fear and anguish into our lives when we’re unsure or indifferent about our life assignment. And this provides cover for us to hide behind a job, title, or role (mother, father, volunteer, etc.). Yes, it can be tied to a career path, but a life’s calling is usually bigger and broader than one’s occupation or money-making abilities. Simply put, what happens to an employee when a firing or retiring takes place — does purpose end? Of course not. That’s why tying purpose to a role or job is so dangerous, and truthfully, quite reckless in the grand scheme of things.

Here’s what I know about purpose as an author, public speaker, and self-proclaimed “Momma’s boy.” (My mother Laura, aka Ma Dukes, would often refer to me as Huckleberry Finn since I rarely stayed inside the confines of our impoverished neighborhood. I had people to meet, places to go, and predicaments to overcome.) A life assignment is usually tied to one’s innate gifts, realized potential, and difference-maker spirit. In that order. Anecdotally, all three are intricately connected, I believe, to that recurring dream — not a trauma-based nightmare — in childhood, adolescence, or even one’s young adult years to solve a customized, purpose-puzzle mandate. In the book of Genesis, Joseph had a dream and a destiny, but he had to develop the discipline (which was not revealed to him for obvious reasons) to carry out his life assignment. It took 13 years of discipline before his dream at age 17 caught up with his 30-year-old destiny. Between the ages of 12 and 14, I had this recurring dream growing up in abject poverty.  Our housing project, Sullivant Gardens, in the 1950s and 1960s, from what I was told, at one time had a garden outside each apartment. By the time I was born in the 1970s, only dirt and weeds remained. In my dream, I would dig deep into the soil, discovering more and more coins with each hand scoop of dirt. These “knowledge coins” or “currency tokens” would then be given to others to escape the harsh world of poverty’s plight. I can still see the smiles of relief on their faces; they were also incredibly grateful. (Purpose-guided dreams are substantiated by Dr. Patrick McNamara, an author and Associate Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine.)

In closing, the pieces to my purpose-puzzle mandate meant that I, too, would need a steady diet of discipline, a dirty but nutrient-rich process, before my dream caught up with my destiny. At the age of 28, the Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization (LFYO) was launched. But the seed of purpose was planted in my subconscious at age 12, and likely even younger. How about your life’s calling? What dream of purpose did you have growing up in childhood? Why are you wholeheartedly embracing or purposely avoiding it? Using a basketball analogy, life’s purpose is akin to a shot clock. Make good on the possession or lose the opportunity to score. It’s your call. And as long as you have air in your purpose basketball, you can bounce back from setbacks throughout every quarter of life. Here’s my assist to you. Now, pass it forward by helping someone else find and fund theirs.

Click the button below to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal through The Columbus Foundation Giving Store.

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The Power of Mentoring – Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

November 28, 2023

The Power of Mentoring

How an Attitude of Gratitude Can Transform Our Central Ohio Community

Giving Tuesday is one week away, a global movement with local momentum to change lives and transform legacies. Here’s where your help comes into play with a much-needed assist. On Tuesday, November 28, The Columbus Foundation will cover all fees for gifts made by credit card through The Giving Store to support the Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization. So, 100% of EVERY tax-deductible donation made on this date through The Columbus Foundation will go directly to LFYO!

Outside of a parent or family member, who has had the biggest influence in your life personally, professionally, or philanthropically? It’s probably safe to say that this person or group has served as a trusted mentor, a relatable and reliable tour guide with a proven track record in producing verifiable results in your life. Without this guidance-counselor relationship and success GPS system, where would you be? Now, imagine what life is like for at-risk youth who have been shortchanged from birth to adolescence in the area of effective mentoring. I’m not making excuses, but these young people are likely going to take their pain out on others, or themselves, or take matters into their own hands (a la Kia Boys) to navigate their brutal existence. And a young mind is ill-equipped to carry this burden alone.

We fell short of our $250,000 goal in raising funds at our 2023 LFYO Fundraising Luncheon by $100,000. We’re still hopeful that we can achieve our capital objectives by year’s end. Why? Because you’re assist, really investment, will help us serve over 5,000 participants through the Mr. Fundy’s Mentoring Playbook for At-Risk Youth and Vulnerable Young Adults. In fact, some of the mentees will serve as peer-to-peer mentors and receive compensation for their efforts. Money can act as an incentive, but development activates the real reward.

In closing, peer-to-peer mentoring, or what I term, horizontal influencing, is about the village elevating the village. This can occur by pushing, pulling, or propelling each other across the success finish line. Adults can serve as facilitators of youth-led change, but the workload rests with the initiators of transformation — peers who look, think, and act like them. Yes, we can provide the appropriate guidance and applicable guardrails, but grown folk need to step aside and let our young people get in success shape through peer-to-peer coaching, conditioning, and cheerleading measures. And the life and legacy game, theirs and ours, is truly on the line. (The Mr. Fundy’s Mentoring Playbook for At-Risk Youth and Vulnerable Young Adults has been praised by Zack Klein, Columbus City Attorney.)

Thank you for your time, talents, and treasures as LFYO difference-makers and philanthropy mentors!

Click the button below to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal through The Columbus Foundation Giving Store.

Columbus Foundation Giving Store

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Team Captain

 What is a Lane Change U Team Captain?

In sports, team captains step up to the leadership plate when the occasion warrants. They’re not afraid of the bright lights when pressure is most intense. That moment doesn’t catch them off guard; in fact, they flourish in it. Whether playing at home or on the road, they provide the calm voice of assurance in the midst of a competitive storm, They are masterful motivators who keep others focused on the task at hand, even when victory is all but assured. Team captains have the uncanny ability of galvanizing their players to accomplish challenging goals — incrementally and exceptionally. Lane Change U team captains have the championing pedigree to help others shift gears and change lanes to break free from the status quo. As divisive rhetoric pulls our nation farther apart politically, racially, and socially, the expertise of team captains is just what we need to find common ground at the front end and fund common good at the back end. That time is now.


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