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2012: The Year of the Giving Man

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By Roy Spence
December 1, 2011

Let’s do this. Let’s make 2012 in Austin, TX, the Year of the Giving Man.

OK, Austin men, let’s all pick something of personal passion and purpose and give to it. Give to it with love and enthusiasm and commitment. There is no question that our nation is struggling to find its purpose again while Americans are, for the most part, getting up each day and trying to do the best they can for their families, companies, organizations and the communities in which they live and work. The American people have the will and the can-do spirit to get us moving again, even if our elected leaders are too busy getting re-elected to recognize that we find most of them self-serving, out of touch and frankly, boring. But I digress.

So men and women, ATX Man magazine has agreed to be the central communications portal for the Year of the Giving Man. (Since this magazine is named ATX Man, I am giving a shout out to you Austin men in particular.)

Here is how it will work: During the next three months (December through February), simply state what your giving commitment will be in 2012 and send your pledge to, where it will be posted throughout the year. I would also encourage you to challenge your friends and colleagues to do the same. Women are welcome to make the pledge, so come on, all of you wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends and admirers of Austin men, tell us what you are going to give in 2012.

This is how I plan to contribute: I am most passionate about the American Dream. The American ideal is that here in America, if you can dream it, with hard work, purpose, relentless energy and some help from mentors, you can go out there and build a business and make a living doing what you love to do. To reiterate, if you can dream it then you can do it! My heroes are the mobile vending entrepreneurs. So last year I joined
forces with RISE Global, a nonprofit program dedicated to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs, and gave a “Don’t Do Mild” startup grant to a wonderful young entrepreneur who had to compete with hundreds of others for the most compelling new idea for a business. I have now decided that as part of the Year of the Giving Man, I am going to give another “Don’t Do Mild” grant in 2012 and help another would-be entrepreneur start his or her company.

So take up the challenge and we will all be better for it. You guys pick something, something you are passionate about, somewhere that you can make a difference. Help build a new neighborhood park.
Volunteer in schools teaching young people about whatever you love. Give to the Trail of Lights for 2012 so that next year, we can bring this great tradition back. Give your time and love to a senior or the Humane Society. Give more time and love to your family or friends. There are so many ways to give of your time, your talent and your treasure. The only requirement is that you give to something or someone you love or feel passionate about, and you have to sign a Giving Man pledge. At the end of 2012, go to the ATX Man website and tell us how you delivered on your Giving Man pledge, or you have to fess up that you messed up.

We will join together this time next year to celebrate all of the wonderful things that have happened as a result of the generosity shown in 2012, in this year of the Giving Austin Man. Austin men (and women), are you up to the challenge? Sign up today. Make that commitment. Let’s do some giving this year!



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  1. Brent Fields on

    I pledge to personally fund the cost of a mentoring “match” (and all the professional support that goes with that relationship between a caring adult and a kid in need) for an entire year through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

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