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Why I Volunteer


I’m sure that you’re dying to know how the CAPPA turned out and I promise to write that post tomorrow. But tonight, volunteerism is on my mind…

In the past when people have asked why I volunteer I’m sure that I just rattled off the first answer that came to my head (sorry!) but as I working on a CAPPA project late last night I really started to ask myself why I do this?

This is what motivates me:

Money– The next time you have a spare second make of list of how much it would cost you to attend the PPAI or ASI shows in Las Vegas or even Dallas for that matter. If you have office staff or sales people that you would take with you, then double that number. Are the zero’s adding up yet? CAPPA hosts an annual EXPO with over 100 national suppliers and multi-line reps as exhibitors. All it costs me is a tank of gas to get to San Antonio!  On the flip side of that coin….Oprah once said “It takes a village to raise kids” well I don’t have kids but I can tell you without a doubt that it takes months and hundreds of hours behind the scenes planning to offer you “The Best Little Show in Texas!” and it’s all done by volunteers.

Relationships– The standard answer is that you can build relationships with suppliers which is true (& VERY helpful) but it’s not my answer. For me, it’s about the relationships that I have built with other distributors (Yes, my competitors!). There are times when I just can’t find what I’m looking for, I run into a client or employee situation where I’m not exactly sure what to do or maybe I’ve just had a tough day and need somebody to listen who can relate. Guess what…I now have a group of other distributors whom I meet through volunteering for CAPPA that I am proud to call my friends. We are not worried about stealing each others business or that if we if we help each other with ideas for clients and business that it’s going to put one of us out of business! I can reach out to these people at any time and I know that they will help me and vice versa! That’s priceless if you ask me…

United we stand, Divided we fall– Let’s face it…the last year has been rocky and there are lots of things going on right now that are changing the landscape of our industry. When we finally get out of the recession that we are in, I think not only the promotional products industry but business in general will be different. Recent legislation regarding safety standards and laws that being debated right now in Congress will affect all of us. I am a distributorship of 2 and by standing alone I don’t make that big of an impact but if we come together, as a united industry, to stand up for what we believe in, we are a strong and powerful voice. Regional associations in conjunction with PPAI are leading the way to make sure our voices are heard. By volunteering to help i’m ensuring that CAPPA can provide opportunities to educate myself and make sure that I am a top-notch professional within my industry – my clients expect it and my livelihood depends on it.

What motivates you to volunteer?

By: Jennifer Brown, 360 Promotions

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