Living a Legacy to Leave a Legacy
Author: Claire Riggs, Managing Partner
Earlier this year, I took a six-week personal and professional development course called IntentionalMe. The course had me confront paradigms and address self-limiting thoughts by living with my end in mind. One impactful exercise required me to write my obituary and epitaph. While quite an uncomfortable task, it proved to be enlightening and liberating. Penning my desired life outcomes helped me clarify my goals and provide purpose to my day-to-day activities.
While this course focused on living intentionally to leave a desired legacy, its lessons go beyond personal application. They touch my approach to family, business, and community.
Last December, we shared a blog called “Share Your Spirit of Giving in this Giving Season” where we examined the why behind our community involvement. We discussed that ‘the spirit of giving… builds community connections, strengthens employee bonds, and supports a neighbor who can use a helping hand. Developing a giving spirit is good because it helps weave us into the fabric of our community.”
When I consider these words, I think of local community heroes such as Paul Blackstock, one dear friend who departed this life a few months ago. His legacy is celebrated and shines on through several organizations and programs in Gloucester County. These words also bring to mind global community heroes such as my aunt and uncle, Nicole and Frantz Jean, who are building a legacy through their non-profit Konbit Pou Portapiment that is rebuilding hospitals, homes and schools and encouraging sustainable farming practices in this small, west coast Haitian community. When friends inquired how to best help Haiti after the devastating earthquake this summer, it’s with confidence and assurance of outcomes that I could point them to consider contributing to this impactful organization.
Leaving a Legacy
This spirit of giving is the legacy we want to leave behind as individuals, as a family, and as a business. Though small in comparison to other firms, Riggs Creative Group aims to intentionally use our knowledge, skills, time, contributions, and influence to make life better and brighter for others.
This year, in addition to serving on the Boards and/or Marketing Committees of several organizations, including the Gloucester County Prayer Committee, the United Way of Gloucester County Board and Campaign Committee, the Garden State Scouts Award Committee, and the Women Empowered International Marketing Committee, we supported a student intern, participated in a Habitat for Humanity build event, sponsored a Women Empowered International event to raise funds for their Kenya project, and adopted an Emmanuel Cancer Foundation family for the holidays.
Planning for Intentional Outcomes
As a cornerstone in the foundation of our company’s culture, giving reminds us of how much we have to be grateful for, galvanizes and engages our employees, and fills our emotional tanks. Just as we seek to help you build you brand on purpose, we want to build our communities on purpose. As such, we’re making living a legacy a part of our 2022 goals.
How about you? Not sure where to get started or need free ideas?
- Consider becoming a mentor to a newer team member or providing an internship opportunity to a college student. This year, we were blessed to have Caleb from Lancaster Bible College supporting our team with research and data management. I was also privileged to connect with one of Rowan’s Strategic Communication Master’s degree program candidates. And, routinely, Steven enjoys sharing knowledge and experience with our younger partners.
- Consider volunteering with a local nonprofit or joining one of its committees. This year, I expanded my Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity Fundraising Committee involvement by completing the required training to physically help out at a build site. What a fulfilling morning!
- Consider giving. Even if you’re small like us, you can still make a big difference by pooling together with other small businesses in the United Way’s 365 Small Business Program. Our collective efforts recently assisted 16 organizations with mini-grants. This ongoing support sustains our neighbors when times get rough. And when disaster strikes, like the tornado we experienced here recently, these organizations are often the first providers of resources to those impacted.
As the challenges continue, let’s keep stretching, growing, and living the legacy we want to leave.