Gratitude.  The dictionary defines it as: “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

Here at Etymology Consulting we like to think about kindness as a verb.  It’s actively showing our appreciation and gratitude.  When you exercise regular doses of gratitude and kindness it is very grounding and allows us to be more present with ourselves, our team, our loved ones.

We strongly believe in giving back to our communities, whether at home or around the world.  When our clients choose to work with us, a portion of our revenues are given back to the community, and the project team decides which organizations they want to support.

Many times people and organizations only think about the monetary donation, but we would like to challenge this thinking to a broader viewpoint.  There are so many other things that can be kindness in action, such as donating your time or skillset, networking, advocating and amplifying the voices of those that don’t have a voice.

Our founder, Misha Bleymaier-Farrish, has discovered that serving on the board of two nonprofits has brought her a tremendous amount of groundedness and gratitude.  It allows her to bring her skillsets to those nonprofits and help them get shit done.  As a mom to two tiny humans, she believes it’s important to demonstrate action to her words because they are watching and learning.  

From a personal or organizational perspective, having a philanthropic focus is a steadying moral compass that gently reminds us that there are people in need, and we can help make an impact and change.   It’s also a good reality check, given the world that we live in.  

The question we often get when people are looking to get involved in philanthropy is whether it should it be local, national or international, faith-based, industry or career focused.  The answer is simple.  What charity speaks to you?  When you hear their story, does it move you emotionally?  Does their mission resonate and spring you into action?  

For this, we asked our founder to share some examples of nonprofits and organizations that she has been involved in to some extent and why. 

Misha: Etymology Consulting’s city base is Nashville , TN, so I wanted to be sure that we were giving back in our community. Consequently, I serve on the nonprofit board of Jonathan’s Path, an organization that is tackling the the teen foster care crisis that our state is facing.  I want to be sure that every child that may be in school with my kids or on their sports teams has a place to go and hope for the future.

I’m a big believer in supporting individuals, especially women, as they are rebuilding their lives.  That’s why the mission of Nashville nonprofit Thistle Farms resonates. They provide a safe place to live, a meaningful job, and a lifelong sisterhood of support to women in need.

My late father passed away from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, so to honor his legacy and memory, we are actively involved with organizations dedicated to research for this disease.  The ALS Association has a national presence, but the majority of the funds donated to the local chapters go directly to patients that suffer from ALS.  I’m sure many of us are touched by loved ones that have suffered from medical conditions, so consider supporting the one that rings close to home.  Those organizations are either supporting patients suffering or research to help with treatments and cures.

Having come from a military family, our veterans and their families have my eternal thanks for their sacrifices.  There are so many great national programs such as Our Military Kids, Wounded Warrior Project, Tunnel to Towers, and more.

Perhaps you are in an industry that needs your support.  I have worked in the Insurance Industry for two decades, and there is work to be done to bring about awareness about diversity, inclusion, and amplifying the under-voiced.  I serve on the nonprofit board of Insure Equality which is seeking to do all that and more within the Insurance Industry to bring about much-needed change.

As you can see from Misha’s examples, there are many different organizations and missions that you can support.  As we enter into this holiday season, we encourage you to discuss with your teams, organizations, family and friends about how you can exercise your gratitude muscles and put kindness into action. 

Don’t forget about Giving Tuesday on November 29, 2022. This is a great time to donate to nonprofit organizations across the United States.

May we bring about kindness and usher in meaningful change into 2023.