Is Giving Really an Option?

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Beringer’s philanthropic bent has been evident since the first year of my employment. It was the 2007 Holiday Season and Christmas was right around the corner. In the office, a group of us, set aside an evening the week before December 25th to wrap gifts in preparation for their send-off to under privileged children. It was one of the many reasons why I enjoyed my new job. My wife and I had recently moved from Ohio to Philadelphia and we were still experiencing the culture shock of moving from small town American to life in the fast lane. Despite the hustle and bustle of the city one of our favorite things to do was visit down town Philly and enjoy some fine fare at a local restaurant. More than likely it was on one of these occasions that we saw him. He was dark, but not by his choice or by birth. Had he the proper accommodation I’m certain a shower would have revealed the tanned, deeply wrinkled face of a middle aged man. He was heavily dressed and standing on the corner leaning up against a grimy alley wall. As we walked by he abruptly asked me if I had any money to spare. Slightly taken back by the volume of his voice I politely said, “No. Thank you”. Whether he was confused by my polite choice of words or simply angered by the fact that I didn’t have money to give, I’ll never know. But what I do know is that I was both startled and slightly self-consciousness when he suddenly stepped toward me and blurted out very loudly, “NO, THANK YOU!?”…”What do you mean, NO, THANK YOU!?”

As time passes and I reflect on that encounter, I find myself thinking there was a deeper meaning in his words. It was as if he was saying, “Based on your options, No, is not an option.” “You can’t say no… you’ve been blessed and you can’t help but give.” Beringer Associates feels the same way. That’s why they started the Beringer Benefit. The Beringer Benefit is a way for the company and its employees to give back those less fortunate in the local community. Whether it is by serving food at the local soup kitchen, giving orphans gifts at Christmas, or sponsoring a participant in a Susan G Komen event we are giving back. What about you? Is giving an option for you?