A Season Of Giving

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WE MAKE A a living by what we get, but we make a
life by what we give.

—Winston Churchill

As we enter the holiday season I wanted to talk a little about giving back and highlight some of the work Everything Channel and you, the readers, have done to help.

Here at Everything Channel we have an initiative called Channel@
Work. At all of our XChange events, we partner with a local nonprofit organization and our employees, event sponsors and attendees can volunteer. In the past we have partnered with Habitat For Humanity, Support Our Troops, Dress For Success and Cradles To Crayons,
among others.

Ingram Micro's VentureTech has a similar program and earlier this year
its Big Apple chapter, which comprises 35 solution providers, donated $30,000 worth of equipment and IT services to a New York women's shelter.

I am grateful that I work in an industry that understands it is our responsibility to help others who don't have the resources we do.

Two individuals deserve special attention this year.

First is Guy Fessenden. Guy ran DIS Research, a $120 million company that reached No. 220 on our VAR500 list in the 1990s. But right now Guy is putting his 53-year-old body through its physical paces to highlight an often overlooked mental illness: schizophrenia. Earlier this year, he embarked on a quest to run the equivalent of 100 marathon lengths over a 140-day period.

He isn't a lifelong marathoner or triathlete. Rather, he is a dad who wants to raise awareness for an illness that has afflicted his daughter for 12 years.

Guy started in Georgia in October and hopes to reach the Pacific sometime in February. CRN's Scott Campbell wrote about
Guy's journey, and you can read his story in November's CRN or on our Web site. Guy keeps followers updated on his Facebook
page at facebook.com/afathersjourney and his Web site, www.
afathersjourney.org. Check it out.

For Zack Shuler, fatherhood was also the impetus to give back. Zack is the CEO of Cal Net Technology Group in Northridge, Calif., and he adopted a child from Ethiopia (I, too, adopted a little boy from Ethiopia three years ago). During that trip he saw extreme poverty firsthand and the need for infrastructure and services to help people help themselves. When he returned to the U.S. he got involved with
a nonprofit organization called Opportunity International, which specializes in microfinance, or loans to individuals and businesses in developing countries.

Opportunity International recently secured a $1.3 million grant from Credit Suisse, which will fund three mobile banks in Africa. It will also fund five mini-bank branches in Colombia to expand microfinance into small towns and rural areas there.

I would encourage each of you to think about ways you can give back,
whether it is in your own community or halfway around the world. Your IT skills, your entrepreneurial spirit and ambition are all things that we desperately need.

As I like to tell my 4- and 6-year-old children: You never feel
good doing something bad and you never feel bad doing something
good. Happy holidays!

BACKTALK: Kelley Damore is VP, Editorial Director
for Everything Channel. You can reach her via e-mail at

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