Reaching Beyond Transportation: Shifting Gears to Charitable Involvement

September 09, 2009

“Living your values” is the number one motivator of corporate citizenship, a 2003 report by the Hitachi Foundation and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship found.

The report, based on a survey of a variety of professionals, identified trends among professional organizations and businesses regarding the importance of charitable involvement and contributing to the greater community. The report concluded there is a desire among professionals and businesses for charitable outlets.

Charitable involvement, either through donating time, knowledge or money, offers a world of creative opportunities to build job skills, network with other professionals, and pursue non career-related interests in the process of helping others. And the options available are plentiful. Groups such as Engineers without Borders, Architects without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity, just to name a few, offer unique opportunities to collaborate for a common cause. These organizations provide professionals with opportunities to apply their expertise or learn new skills.

Charitable organizations also often need people with a range of qualifications, such as accounting, administration, grant writing, and public relations. Such diverse needs provide an opportunity for people of different professional backgrounds to partner and learn. Mentoring opportunities are built into these organizations with an emphasis on seasoned professionals working with younger professionals, and members are encouraged to pursue their own interests with their involvement. The process of giving back is twofold: with the giver and receiver reaping the benefits of the experience.

KAI, through forming the Kittelson Charitable Foundation (KCF), has developed its own sense of contributing to the world outside of transportation. The foundation has been picking up steam and making strides to make a difference in a Rwandan community through education as the first endeavor. With the excitement and commitment that has developed from the work in Rwanda, KCF is now growing to search out other ways to help in our communities and beyond. Today, KCF is looking to expand its avenue of support to extend its efforts in Rwanda.

For individual professionals, there are a variety of ways to get involved, locally and internationally. Please join us in exploring the different avenues to engineer an improved society.

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