In our work with employee engagement, we have found that philanthropy provides one of the biggest boosts. We also find that developing a culture in which employees help each other and watch each other’s backs is equally important. You never know where this might lead.

To really drive home the importance of giving back, I like to take time during our programs to share one of my favorite stories that demonstrates how an act of kindness can change all of our lives. The story may not be true, but the moral is still incredibly important:

A Ride in the Storm

One night, at 11:30 P.M., an older African-American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down, and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car that drove by.

A young white man stopped to help her – something generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance, and put her into a taxicab.

The woman seemed to be in a big hurry, but she wrote down the man’s address and thanked him for his help.

Seven days went by, and then a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color T.V. was delivered to his home.

A special note was attached to the T.V. It read:

Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.


Mrs. Nat King Cole

David Harder is the founder of Inspired Work.

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