I had no idea the story of how the story of Robin Williams using his rider would strike a chord, especially with how people have said it’s inspiring them to make an impact themselves. I’ve been working with nonprofits for over 20 years, and I’d hate to miss this opportunity to share with you how you can help others. Taking a cue from the example Robin Williams set in his rider, here are three small steps you can take to make a big impact.
Step 1: Know yourself and your passions.
You’ll always be most inspired and motivated by what you’re passionate about. Some people are inspired by education, animals, or any number of things. For Robin Williams, that was helping the homeless. For me, I’m really passionate about helping kids in need internationally. You’ll have the greatest impact on the world by starting with what you’re most passionate about. There is something about you that’s unique.
Step 2: Start with what you have, with those around you.
Are you passionate about education and you live in Omaha? Start with helping students in Omaha. Do you have particular skills like IT, accounting, or just listening? Put those skills to work helping people or organizations in your sphere of influence. For Robin Williams, among other things, he realized he had a voice and a platform. Publicly, he testified before congress and raised millions of dollars to help the homeless. On the business side, much less publicly, he knew he’d be on movie sets and would perform at events, and could use his influence there.
Step 3: Influence Others To Do The Same.
Teach others how to do what you do. Multiply yourself. In the example Robin Williams gave with his rider requirement of hiring the homeless, he multiplied his effect. I’m sure for many production companies, this was likely the first time they went out and intentionally hired a homeless person for a job. Once they did, hopefully some of them continued to do so even when they moved on to a non-Robin Williams project.
I’ve followed these steps myself. For me, I realized that although there are many great causes out there, I was most motivated by helping kids internationally. I’ve gone along with others to rebuild a home for a widow after Haiti’s earthquake, help feed kids in poverty in the Dominican, and to play games with orphans. Our family even came together one time to fund the building of an AIDS clinic in Swaziland near South Africa. But I realized I’m just me, and I really wanted to find a way to multiply the effect, to help others make an even greater impact. So with some help from some great people, we started NonBoardBoard.org, as a way to increase that impact, to help nonprofit leaders who have huge hearts, but maybe not every business skill. From a little group in Nashville, these people go out and help kids in over 20 countries around the world. Long after I’m gone, the skills these people have learned and will pass on will continue to help those in need.
Obviously life is filled with tragedy, but it’s also filled with a lot of blessings as well. It’s been years since I first saw that clause in Robin Williams’ rider designed to help the homeless, and it’s always stuck with me as an inspiration to help others myself.
Will you choose to find your passion, serve those around you, and influence others to do the same?
If you’d like to make a donation to help counselors who walk alongside those in need, visit The Refuge Center.
READ: How Robin Williams Secretly Used His Movies and Events To Help The Homeless