Amy G. posing with her youth soccer team and their Giving Season gift purchases

It’s always better to give than to receive

In this blog, Amy G., a chief of staff, shares why the Giving Season is important to her. During Vanguard’s Giving Season, crew members around the world join together to help brighten the lives of children, seniors, and families through a variety of activities including raising funds and purchasing toys, books, clothing, and necessities. The Giving Season is one of Vanguard’s many Community Stewardship programs through which crew donate their time, talent, and treasure to help communities have the best chance for success.

Early roots

Ever since I could remember, my parents consistently instilled in my siblings and me the belief that “it’s always better to give than to receive.” One way my parents demonstrated this belief was to participate in a variety of community service events throughout the course of year. When I think back to those events, my mind is instantly flooded with positive memories, and many stemmed from our annual participation in a sponsor-a-child program. I vividly recall as a young child walking up to the Christmas tree at my family’s church to select a “wish kid,” typically a young girl close to my age, for whom I could help ensure her holiday was just as joyous as my own.

Branching out to Vanguard

In 2011, prior to receiving my undergraduate degree and launching into the professional world, I searched determinedly for an employer who was both well regarded in the financial services industry and also demonstrated a strong sense of commitment to community service—a trait central to my own personal values. Luckily, I did not have to look far from the Philadelphia region to find Vanguard, a company with many community stewardship programs that were positively impacting their local communities. One program in particular caught my eye, given the close significance to my childhood memories: Vanguard’s Giving Season.

Seeding more Santa helpers

Young girls posing with gifts to be purchased

Fast forward to 2019, I share with enthusiasm that I have participated in the Giving Season at Vanguard each of the last eight years, and that I have been joined by my members of my soccer team. Outside of Vanguard, you can find me on countless soccer fields as a female youth soccer coach for a local Philadelphia club. While I don’t have a specific number of games or tournaments I set out to win, I do have one very specific goal—positively impact as many young girls in the surrounding Philadelphia area, both on and off the field, as possible. I feel that it is my unspoken duty to use my personal experiences and leadership skills as a platform to help influence the lives of my players. I want to make my players better people, not just better athletes.

During each Giving Season, I volunteer my time by signing up to shop for 20 kids who have been sponsored by Vanguard crew, and each of my players has her own child to shop for. My team and I will venture to the local Target and begin a shopping frenzy. I’d describe it as organized chaos, but thankfully I have a group of soccer moms who assist in the process! Overall, my team has an absolute blast while learning the same lesson my parents taught me—“it’s always better to give than to receive.” The best part? When they begin asking if our team will be shopping for children in need again next year.

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