By Mark Kemp
As we approach the holiday season, or as most of us prefer to say, the Christmas season, we are busy thinking about what gifts to purchase for our families and friends. We spend countless hours deciding on the perfect gift to give, only to realize that in a month it will most likely be forgotten. We all know Christmas is a time for giving, but why does it seem to happen mainly during the Christmas season? Just think of the possibilities if we had a giving spirit all year round! When I speak of giving, I am not only referring to gifts, but also to acts of kindness.
At the 2014 Midyear Meeting in Milwaukee during the opening prayer, I challenged everyone to do three acts of kindness every day. I am sure most of you, including myself, start out strong, but as time passes, we forget. These acts of kindness can be as simple as helping a person in need, donating your time or helping out financially when asked. So as we approach a new year, I ask you again consider doing three acts of kindness per day. You will be amazed by how this spreads on to others. In fact, challenge your kids or grandkids.
We are all blessed to be involved in an industry that has provided us the opportunity to provide for our families. The masonry industry is unique from other industries, because most are family businesses passed down generation after generation. It is an industry made up of hardworking people with strong values. Mason contractors have a passion for their industry, and this is why the Masonry Foundation has had such a strong start. As I write this article, the Masonry Foundation has $2.25 million in pledges, with many more pledges out there waiting to be turned in.
Our original goal was to raise $5 million in pledges, but I strongly believe we are capable of reaching $8 to $10 million. We truly need all of you to support the Foundation, if we are to reach this goal. This is a great way for you to give back to the industry that has been so good to you and your family. It is an act of kindness that will go on forever ensuring your company, family and industry has a bright and prosperous future. Please consider giving to the Masonry Foundation; you can contact me or call the MCAA office. Join the rest of the contractors who already have pledged to make our industry stronger.
Another way you can help others is by becoming a member of MCAA. And, if you are already a member or if you are going to join, take the next step and become an active member. Yes, it is a time commitment, but that is just another way of giving back to others and your industry. MCAA is your voice in the masonry industry, so why not get involved and be heard? There is so much work to be done with so few to help. So, if you are not a member, please help yourself and others by joining. To all members: Please get involved in your association – the only association for all mason contractors. MCAA not only offers great programs and benefits, but also we have your back on national issues that affect your company and industry. So feel free to contact me or the MCAA office for more information on how to join and how to get involved in your industry.
At this time, the whole Kemp Family would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It is during Christmas that we all need to sit back and reflect on how fortunate we are, and appreciate the things of importance in our lives, like our families and friends, and our MCAA family as well. These are the things that bring us the meaning of “true happiness.”
This type of happiness cannot be bought, but rather is there for all those who wish to have it. I also, at this time, would like you to reach out and give thanks to the Armed Forces and police and fire departments that will not be able to be with their families during this holiday season. A simple “thank you” will bring a smile to their faces and a thought that they are not alone.
About the Author
Mark Kemp is the President and CEO of Superior Masonry Builders, Inc. in Butler, Wisc. He has served as an officer on the Executive Board and Region D Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.