Life is there to be lived. If we’re not paying attention, all the moments, all the things and all the people can pass us right by. I have never been one to let this happen because ever since I can remember, direct experience has shaped my life. After my younger brother passed away when I was just 4 years old, my family was left to pick up the pieces. Three years later we were fortunate enough to see our family grow once again and I was blessed with another brother. He means the world to me. So, when he was diagnosed with autism a few years later, I became entirely focussed, both mentally and emotionally, on him and his needs. I was constantly looking for ways I could make his life better. However, I realized through this process that all my efforts trying to improve his life actually profoundly affected mine. He humbled me in every way. The experiences I lived with my brother, the compassion I learned and perspective I gained through him have made me the man I am today.
Over the years, by volunteering with causes related to my brother, I had the chance to share meals, high fives, laughter and tears with so many people that seemed very different from me. These people viewed life and their place in it so differently than I was accustomed to. It was refreshing and perspective-changing. So many of us take life, health and happiness for granted. My brother and his friends did not and they truly helped me see what should be important in mine. While most of society is taught to turn their head and “not to stare,” I became the guy looking for a hug or a high-five from any child with a disability. Most people want to help, they want to do the “right” thing, but sometimes it’s hard to know what that is.
So I asked, could this be the wedge between those in need and the desire that essentially all of us have to help? Do good-intentioned people not act because they simply don’t know to go for the “high-five” when they see someone different from them? The world we live in wants us to concentrate in petty consumption and to detach from others to focus on personal gain, disconnecting us from all that is real, but is there a way to break through this and actively reconnect with the world around us?
Continuing on this path, I could see the perspective gained from my experiences surrounding my brother were just the beginning. Most of us just need a “reason” or purpose to take the time to look and understand. My brother was mine and Coupla Guys and Gals Give Back focuses on a wide range of causes dealing with People, Animals and the Environment to make it easier for others to find theirs. C3GB is your chance, opportunity, or open door to find intrinsic purpose in helping the world around you through connection.
This is what turns C3GB into a nationwide movement. After a long career in finance and more than my share of benefit dinners, I wanted to create change in a massive way. Giving money and raising awareness are essential, but I wanted to come up with a way to give people the chance to regain their connection to the world around them and to feel that what they are doing is making a difference.
This drive to find a real solution combined with my business background, the perspective I gained working with my brother and my dedication to creating real change is what brought about Coupla Guys and Gals Give Back and High Impact. We are providing people all around the country the chance to be action- oriented, to do something about the frustration they feel for what is going on in the world. Once you get involved like this, it’s impossible not to see change. The change from the impact your work has, the change within yourself and the change you create from the viral effect of your actions.
Does this all sound ambitious? Does it sound hard? Maybe a little, but good! That’s the whole point. The above is my story, but Coupla Guys and Gals Give Back isn’t about me. It’s about you and those you stand to help. What really drives C3GB now is the people involved. It’s their compassion and desire to help that has transformed this volunteer organization into a nationwide movement for doing good.Real change requires real effort and real dedication, but above all else it requires people, people who are committed to making the world a better place and are ready to start doing so in a meaningful and hands-on way. The world is waiting for you, find your calling and join us as we work to create real change that will actually make the world a better place for everyone.
Jason ZumBerge - Founder and Executive Director