The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We hear that phrase and understand that the most difficult tasks are accomplished one step at a time, with resolve and long-term dedication. And I would add, with the help of each other.
At Dow, we see our 29-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity as this kind of a journey. It is an employee volunteering. A donation of our building materials. A financial gift that enables a construction project. All aligned for a bigger mission to provide safe, affordable housing all over the world.
This is also the way we view our corporate responsibility as good citizens and how we choose to respond to the needs around us-not just the need for decent housing, but the need to do more good in the world.
It is an approach that involves all of the best we have to offer and how we help influence and bring about positive change to address society’s most pressing challenges. We lend our hands, our best thinking, our problem solving, our products, and our finances to efforts like Habitat, putting the full force of our corporate talents behind every charitable commitment.
We don’t do it alone, of course. Many individuals, nonprofits, government and non-government organizations, and companies come together with the same common mission in mind. Case in point: a three-county neighborhood revitalization effort in Michigan in 2011 that involved more than 100 organizations of all kinds.
Because of the passion we collectively bring to bear in the name of global housing, children have a safe place to lay their heads at night. Mothers have a place to cook the family meal. Fathers are proud to have helped build so much more than a simple structure.
We could not think of a better way to put our skills, our products, and our contributions to work. This one step in a significant journey. When our corporate friends, nonprofit partners, and NGOs are added to the journey, the impact is phenomenal. We see this total collaboration, this holistic approach, as the most effective way to engage as a corporate citizen in everything we do.
As we join with our colleagues and peers to celebrate International Corporate Philanthropy Day, Dow is proud to announce its 2012 commitment to Habitat for Humanity. We know our people, products, and dollars will work together with the contributions of many others to further the cause of affordable housing.
In honor of this day, we want to begin a dialogue about even better ways to work together to do more good in the world. What is your view of this holistic approach, our journey of a thousand steps that we take with all of you? Does it have merit? Is it enough? How can we improve and advance even further? We’d like to hear your thoughts. Our pledge is that we will make it our priority to use this feedback to continue to be part of the collective good that is done in the world.
Bo Miller is president and executive director of Dow Chemical Company Foundation, a member of the Council on Foundations.