The Big WE

October 30, 2012

Winston Churchill quotes seem to be flying around these days – I was at an event just the other day when two different speakers quoted him – so I thought I’d share my fave WC quote with you: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Very simple. Every charity fundraiser should have it tattooed on their bicep. In that simple distinction between gaining material wealth and well-being and developing our humanity and the fullness of our lives is the main driver to encouraging individuals and corporations to open their pocketbooks and support organizations trying to do permanent good. Like MPTF.

In the world of MPTF, “giving” has a broader meaning and that really comes down to our mission of building a sense of community among industry members. In 2011, for example, MPTF was the beneficiary of more than 35,000 volunteer hours on our campus – these from folks from our entertainment village who had the time and energy and focus to support MPTF by giving the old-fashioned way: sorting mail and pushing mail carts, editing videos, shopping for and reading to our residents, playing bingo, helping feed around meal times, being pool buddies. There’s no end to the list of needs we have to enhance the services we provide and the lives we nurture. And there’s no greater gift that any of us can give, truly, than connecting with senior and more fragile industry members with a touch of caring, compassion, and appreciation.

For the past few years, really since the end of 2010 when we looked at the results of an industry-wide survey and realized we had yet a lot of work to do, developing community support and an advocate base has been a primary goal of our organization. Whether it’s through the very special event Reel Stories Real Lives, produced by a few extraordinary industry members to highlight the stories of industry workers whose lives have been enhanced through the various services of MPTF to “young Hollywood,” or three weekends of layering love and appreciation onto the interior and exterior walls of Local 399 member George Herthel’s house as his last wish before passing from ALS, we have been engaging our community to understand the true meaning of “we take care of our own.” The “we” isn’t MPTF, it’s the BIG WE, all of the members of the entertainment industry in every field helping each other out in the time of need. MPTF can be the vessel, so to speak, of support for the community, but we can only be filled by the generosity of industry members who truly care to give back knowing that MPTF will be there for them as well.

So while we always need financial contributions, we also always need industry advocates who will spread the message about MPTF to their fellow workers, who will spend a few hours now and then either on the campus in Woodland Hills or in the community helping other industry members, and who will be our ambassadors to the world at large. This weekend we will be celebrating those industry members who have become advocates and talking to others who are interested. In advance, I am thanking all of you for taking pride in being part of the entertainment community, in joining a growing number of industry workers who are (to paraphrase Churchill) making their own lives better by giving to others, and in recognizing the role MPTF is playing in making a difference.

Please join us and learn more about how our industry takes care of each other. E-mail Derek Krull ([email protected]) for this information.

About Bob Beitcher

Bob Beitcher is the President and CEO of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. He has been a senior executive in the entertainment industry for 30 years, having held leadership roles at Jim Henson Productions, Paramount Pictures, Panavision and MacAndrews & Forbes Media Group. Bob has been an MPTF board member since 2007. He became interim CEO in 2010 and was named permanent CEO in 2011.

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