volunteering & Give back
Something that I learned early on from my parents was that there are many out there less fortunate than me. We all get busy, we all have our own needs, though there's always someone else who could use more help.
I feel it is my responsibility to pass this understanding along to my children (especially when being asked why they can't play longer on the PS4) so we occasionally volunteer at food pantries in greater Milwaukee. Most recently we were at the Hope House and we have also visited the River West Food Pantry. We also donate frequently to Good Will.
Another way to give back is to raise money for various causes. Every year I can, I do the Fight for Air Climb for the American Lung Association. My wife tends to runs various 5Ks (I run when chased). We also give to the United Way, MSOE, WUWM, Our Saviors Church, The Bayside Shul, Cub Scouts, Kletsch Park, Lincoln Park, North Shore Library, the list goes on.
Beyond money, there's another aspect of giving back that is important; sharing your time to teach others. I am highly involved with the Wisconsin SIM (Society of Information Management) chapter on their Board as past president. This organization advances the Information Technology profession including support of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs and information technology related college scholarships. In the past I helped put on a career fair for the United Community Center in Milwaukee, and taught MPS kids in a homework club. Closer to home, I am an Assistant Boy Scout Leader and help with Cub Scouts in Glendale Troop/Pack 393, occasionally soaking wet in the 4th of July dunk tank.
With the City, I also served on the Vision Planning Committee, and currently serve on the 4th of July Committee and Public Safety Committee.
There's a balance I feel is needed between career, home, and community. Volunteering and giving back is a big part of building a strong community. Being your representative on the common council and volunteering as needed on other committees is my way of giving back in Glendale.