For Weiss, 5 is the magic number in community service

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
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Right
before I met Margie Weiss to interview her for the January Insight cover story, I agreed to coordinate the gifts for the adopt
a family program at my children’s school. Although I wanted to do it, I was
faced with squeezing yet another activity into an already busy schedule. I knew
from writing various newspaper and magazine articles through the years that
Margie herself was one busy woman – not only with her family and career, but
also with a slew of non-profit organizations.

At
one point during the interview, I asked Margie how she decided which non-profit
organizations to volunteer with. She held up her hand and responded “five,”
naming each one as she touched a finger.

“Any
more than that and you get spread too thin. If I decide to work with an
organization, I need to step away from another one,” she says.

Margie
currently sits on boards for the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, the Fox
Valley Technical College Foundation and the Menasha Corp. Foundation and is a
leader with the Neenah Rotary and the LIFE (Leading Indicators For Excellence)
community assessment team. She’s also active with the New North’s
Sustainability Committee.

With
that kind of visibility, it’s difficult to find local leaders who don’t know
Margie.

“There
are so many good quality organizations in the Fox Cities and it’s sometimes
hard to decide where to put my efforts, but I’m really passionate about health care
and helping people to live healthier lives so I try work with organizations
with that focus,” she says. “Being passionate about a cause is essential when you’re
a volunteer.”

With
those words echoing in my ears, I headed home and started organizing the
adopt-a-family gifts. And while it was a lot of work, it was definitely worth
the effort – a lesson Margie knows quite well.

“Stewardship
and giving back is essential in any healthy, thriving community,” Margie says.

– MaryBeth Matzek