One of my favorite things about working for a large company is that I get the privilege to help Special Olympics Texas by participating in The City of Richardson Corporate Challenge (CC for short).
CC is a series of roughly 20 Olympic-style events in which companies throughout the City of Richardson compete with each other for medals and for points. Some of my favorite events to participate in are Billiards, Darts, Bowling, and Softball. The event starts the last part of August, and runs till the middle of October, so it does take up a good portion of the "work year". This is my favorite time of year at work for the sheer joy of being competitive with my friends and with our rivals cross-town. The winning team/company gets bragging rights for the year, a greater sense of camaraderie among co-workers and develop friendships around the community.
My biggest commitment to corporate challenge each year is being the captain of the Billiards Team. For this event, I have to select 3 men, and 3 women to make up three teams: Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles. I typically get more than my fair share of guys who want to compete for the 3 coveted spots. Meanwhile, I usually have, just enough ladies interested in the sport.
As captain, I put up internal-tourney brackets to weed out the top talent from the rest of the field. I also provide instruction in billiards when necessary. I often tell people that sometimes I am a much better pool player than a software engineer, and I'm a pretty damn good engineer. Also, as the captain, I ensure my billiards team does its share of fundraising to be able to compete in the tournament.
THIS IS MY BACKSTORY for why Nifty Campaigns was created.... My love for competition, helping others succeed, making a difference in lives of people through things like Special Olympics, and of course, the "geekery" involved in NFC technology which prompted me to come up with the NifTee shirt. We quadrupled our normal annual fundraising amount that year. I was able to talk to representatives at Special Olympics Texas and showcase what we were doing. I was able to be different. I was able to innovate, make an impact, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. That's all I ever wanted in the first place.
So if you're at work doing your "9-5", maybe it's time you get involved in some opportunities that come your way and pass you by? Perhaps the next time it comes around, you'll be ready to take the next step and get involved and find joy in doing something that makes a difference and ultimately is also good for you!