Throughout our relationship, Karen and I have been regularly involved in local charities. In fact, one of our first dates was an event for the March of Dimes. I was the local head of the effort for the base I was stationed at, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. I recall that one of the jokes we made to each other at that particular event was that after we had turned in all of the donations that we had collected, the walk itself didn’t actually do anything practical to save babies. It was a long walk, so we entertained ourselves by chatting about how each step we took was “materially” improving the lot of some preemie somewhere.
After we moved from New Jersey to Houston in 2007, we were disconnected from all of the charities in which we had participated. Although we were focusing on our careers, our business, and later, our children, we still found time to be a foster home for abandoned dogs. This year (2016), as Karen began her real estate career, she brought up the topic of doing meaningful charity work again. I thought that was a great idea, but I said that whatever we picked had to be something that really resonated with us. It had to be something that was practical, and something where we can see the impact of the work we do.
We searched for a while for a worthy charity, but had a hard time coming up with ideas that fit all of our criteria. Then tragedies began to strike our police officers across the country. Random attacks against them left families and communities devastated. This is when we learned about The 100 Club. After doing a little research on this amazing charity, we were sold – this is the one for us. We reached out to Rick Hartley, the Executive Director of The 100 Club, and asked if he would be willing to be interviewed for the podcast and he graciously agreed.
Gil, Karen and I met with Rick in his downtown Houston office, and chatted with us about the history of the club and how it governs itself today. I was personally most struck by how the mission of the 100 Club has grown over time to be more proactive about saving the lives of the heroes who protect us, rather than just reacting when tragedy strikes. Through the donations of just $100 per year, per member, the Club purchases life saving equipment and provides educational assistance to our police and firemen. A second fund, the Survivor’s Fund, provides for debt relief, permanent housing, and college education for the children of grieving families when an officer in the household dies in the line of duty. The audio of the testimonials of recipients from this fund will jerk a tear from the eye of even the most skeptical brute.
We joined the 100 Club on the spot and we encourage you to do the same.
As this episode releases, we are also announcing the launch of the Police and Fireman Assistance Program. Each transaction that Karen or Gil closes through the program will result in a $250 donation to The 100 Club. Please join us as we support this outstanding charity, and stay tuned, because we plan to hold events in the future that will directly benefit The 100 Club.
Thank you again to Rick Hartley for spending some time with us!