Christmas 2015 marked the beginning of an amazing cause for Grip Work Gear in the efforts of giving. Fourth Quarter Giving is a non-profit organization founded by CEO and Grip Work Founder Mel Jones. The organization was launched through Grip Work Gear and hosted its first annual event Christmas Day.
The concept of Fourth Quarter Giving comes from the year being divided into four quarters. Giving back is something Jones feels strongly about. No matter your circumstance, income level, or position in life, you can always give back. "You cannot receive what you have never given, and you cannot give what you have never received".
Fourth Quarter Giving is not limited to giving back solely in the Christmas Season. Grip Work has plans to continue working through Fourth Quarter Giving to give back to the community throughout the entire year. The goal is to have a "giving event" for every quarter of the year: First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter and Fourth Quarter. Fourth Quarter giving was created with the purpose of showing that anyone is capable at any time in their lives to give back. No matter how much or how little money one has, no matter how much time it takes, no matter the circumstances that arise; it is more than possible to give back. All it takes is more passion, more sacrifice and more drive than those who are quick to make excuses as to why they can't.
On December 25, 2015, Fourth Quarter Giving provided 20 homeless, single-parent families with toys and clothes for Christmas. The Menchville House houses these families during their time of need until they are able to get back up on there feet again. The Grip Work crew arrived bright and early to cook a Christmas breakfast feast for the families before handing out gifts to every, single child. In no time there was plenty of french toast, eggs, grits, fresh fruit and more to go around for every families thanks to the contributions of Woodforest Bank Manager Mike Merz, and assistance from Cindy Hartman.
Once the gifts were distrubuted to the families that were present, Jones and the rest of the volunteers opted in for a tour of the Menchville House. They had the opportunity to see living quarters, eating areas, and laundry rooms. The Menchville House is also equipped with a nursery where mothers can bring their children to play, computer labs for adults and children, libraries with a selection for adults and children and an entertainment room for watching movies. The Menchville House offers families the opportunity to keep living with everyday ammenities amidst their current situations.
The Menchville House staff were extremely welcoming, friendly and eager to show Grip Work how things were done. From setting up the kitchen and cooking, to setting up the breakfast buffet, there was tons of positive energy and holiday cheer that filled the room. It was a great experience to contribute in giving these families the Christmas every child deserves.
On a more personal note, it was a truly eye-opening and humbling experience. Many times we, myself included, take so much for granted. I know I have become more conscious at the fact that every day I wake up expecting things to go in a routine. I have become complacent in my living and sort of zoned into aut-pilot; going through the motions and following the day. What I am slowly beginning to realize and understand is that I must not let time control me, I must control my time throughout the day. Every hour, every minute, down to every second should be in my control, and spent being proactive and pushing myself to be better than I was before. Taking responsibility of my life and my actions, those that I do and don't do, to live the life I want. After all that is what Grip Work is founded on: personal responsibility.
We should never get comfortable with the fact that because there is a bed at home, you will sleep in it tonight. Car accidents, injuries, death in the family, cutting hours, cutting staff, losing jobs and so many unfortunate events happen when we least expect it. Just because they haven't happened to you does not mean they aren't happening [in the world]. Not everyone is equipped or prepared to handle these curveballs in life; but we must be. We must take responsibility now and never take what we have for granted. We must not zone into auto-pilot and live in expectancy. When you live like you are expecting for things to go as they normally do, and get comfortable with predicting how things will go- that is when the unpredictable happens. Be prepared at all times by taking reponsibility for your life now. No short-cuts, lots of self-discipline and always growing to ensure you have done everything in your power to not drive on auto-pilot.
Grip Work is not about excuses and that is exactly why Jones launched the Fourth Quarter Giving event. Some would think that a brand new company would not be able to give back just a few months after being conceived. Some would think to wait until the new year to start the year off with First Quarter giving. But it is not about waiting, it is not about second guessing yourself. It is about picking up momentum now and powering through the new year, into the First Quarter and pushing that momentum throughout the year. You don't wait until the last quarter of the game to give it your all and hope to win. You start the game off as a winner, tackle every obstacle that crosses your path, keep pushing and keep grinding until you reach the end zone; until Fourth Quarter has arrived; until the last second has struck; until you have won.