Coffee Hour with Beat

Approximately 15 years ago I was making a presentation before the Orange County School Board. Everyone likes receiving compliments, but that particular evening I was humbled when the Board told me that Avalon Park Group was one of the most generous companies that OCPS had ever met.

How do you respond to such a comment? Giving back is just part of my “rule book.” While it may seem generous, it is my philosophy that giving back to the community at large is not only an obligation but also a great investment, if you are willing to think long-term. Almost 20 years ago, Avalon Park Group donated school sites for the Avalon Park Elementary school, funded the Timber Creek high school football stadium, and built the Timber Creek Band’s marching field. A high-ranking school board officer asked me how APG could afford to do all of this. He answered himself, “Your community has all the schools, which are all “A” schools, I think your donations are well-chosen investments into the community.” And I wholeheartedly agree. Avalon Park is not the outstanding community we have today because it was created by taking. Quite the contrary, it was by giving, by many, and every single day. I am thankful and glad that Avalon Park started with giving. It was the strong foundation for a great community. Without those gifts we would not have what we have today, a wonderful town, where people can live, learn, work, and play. A town where people can find a strong sense of belonging and safety. Hence giving back starts early and should never end.

Sometimes people believe giving is just money. I strongly disagree, there are so many ways of giving back, as in time and talents. I am thankful that the Avalon Park community is among the best I have experienced when it comes to giving time as volunteers in schools, at Encore Assisted Living community, at the service clubs, such as the Avalon Rotary Club, and Avalon Kiwanis Club. I admire anybody spending time to give back, sometimes it is easy just to send a check, and much harder to invest time and passion when giving back. So, in the spirit of the season, as I look to new and familiar ways to give back, I encourage you to do the same!

I believe, that in the end, you reap what you sow. There are many residents who give back every day and it strengthens the community in a tremendous way. I invite you to think about how to give back, and I guarantee you it will be a great investment for you like it was for me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Beat Kahli