Deb Fountain is a local real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway. Her priority is her family, (Husband Jim and her two girls, Rebecca and Kelly). Along with her business and her family she is very involved with her community as President of the local Rotary Club, she hosts an annual food drive, involved with her church along with several other worthy causes in her town. Why do people become so involved? Usually at some point in one’s life, they will need help or support as did Deb and for years now, she has been “Paying It Back”.
Sometime in early 2013, Deb curled up and began to read a book by Regina Brett called, Be the Miracle. It is a book of inspirational essays where the author shares lessons that will help people make a difference in the world around them. Be the Miracle doesn’t necessarily mean tackling global issues but making a difference in your own home, work space, family, or neighborhoods.
One of those essays was about a group of women in Michigan that wanted to do more in their community but being working women (Which Deb is) most with families, did not have time to volunteer.
As with most ideas, although motivating they are seldom acted upon. Deb was moved to action and after running the idea by a few she trusted and respected, it was time to get the ball rolling. It's working and as a local sports editor Mike Di Mauro (New London Day) writes, in 30 minutes with no frills, just thrills..... and lives are changed.
The concept was genius. Get 100 people in a meeting place with a blank check that will be made out to someone deserving after hearing three (3) solicitations from within the group. The entire process takes 30 minutes. When the 100 members get together once a quarter on arrival if they feel they have a local charity, cause, or individual worthy of this quarter’s funds, the put their name in a hat in hopes they will be one of the three (3) drawn that night to make a presentation. After the first name is drawn, the person comes forward and is allowed 5 minutes to state their case.
They are then allowed 2 minutes for follow-up questions and before they leave the podium, they draw the next presenter. After 3 members have presented their desire, ballot cards are circulated within the membership with only the numbers, 1 – 2 – 3. The member circles whom he/she feels will be best served and the ballots are collected. At that time, the recipient for the quarter is announced and now all the checks can be filled out. The recipient will receive $10,000 after only 30 minutes of discussion and deliberation. To see what $10,000 can do for a person, local organization, or group is quite moving and makes you look forward to the next quarterly meeting.
The moving part, the meeting begins with the last quarter’s recipient coming in and sharing their story as much as they are comfortable with and simply letting 100 people know, you made a difference. This is what makes you come back to the next quarterly meeting. It takes a community.