We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give ~ Winston Churchill

Wise words to live by, wouldn’t you agree? I do, and I know firsthand that Freed Maxick does as well. As a Manager here at the firm, one of my responsibilities is to coordinate the schedules of our MAX Program interns. This year, we had the opportunity to assist two very worthwhile and dynamic non-profit organizations – EPIC – Every Person Influences Children, Inc. and the Special Olympics. When I presented these opportunities for approval, they were met with resounding excitement and acceptance.

Now before I elaborate on the details and the impact, let me provide you with some background on EPIC. EPIC is a national not-for-profit organization that provides resources for adults, all about raising responsible children. Its’ national headquarters is based locally here in Buffalo, founded in 1980. EPIC offers preventative programs and services that include educational materials, school curricula, and comprehensive training to the most influential persons in a child’s life, parents and teachers, helping them to build the foundation of character in children.

Recently, EPIC had lost a major funding source and as a result has had staff cutbacks. While this was an obviously unfortunate event, it did provide an excellent opportunity for the Freed Maxick interns to give back to the community. Over the course of three weeks, our interns volunteered their efforts in completing their program supply inventory, as well as archiving the financial and program records. As EPIC office manager Tara Burgess commented, “Their assistance was greatly appreciated… I cannot thank you and Freed enough for their help!” The impact on the interns was equally rewarding. As intern Jason Norsen, a future graduate of St. John Fisher commented, “It was a great experience to be involved in community action through Freed… EPIC helps a lot of people so assisting them was a great idea.”

An equally rewarding experience was also obtained in assisting the Special Olympics this summer. As you may be aware, the Special Olympics program provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities. As an instructor myself in the local golf program, it was a privilege to introduce our interns to such a worthwhile program which serves nearly 56,000 athletes in New York alone.

The event we assisted with this year was called “Over the Edge”. It occurred at the Seneca Niagara Casino in which fundraisers raised money to rappel down the side of the 27-story casino. Now while we did not apply specific accounting skills to this task, we did enjoy our time as gear runners, children’s fun zone leaders and ambassadors of the program. Some of us even experienced a rare view from the top! To see some of the excitement, see the YouTube video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-b41yLLgBw

In summary, there are many reasons why Freed Maxick is named A Best Place to Work year after year. Personally for me, it is that I can be involved with not only giving our future professionals a real life accounting experience, but also a rewarding experience in the benefits of giving back to the community. After all, life is not about what you get, but what you give, and I am proud to be with a firm that promotes and encourages action instead of just words.