As a syndicate for philanthropic entrepreneurs, movers, shakers & changemakers, Volatile continues “Venti Questions” to highlight those in the community that are making waves & getting work done. Matthew Mancini, VP Policy & Process Manager at TD Bank in Toms River, graciously accepted our invitation to share his version of philanthropy and shared a special shout out to fellow community leaders Joe Mangino & Jeremy DeFilippis.
1. What does philanthropy mean to you?
Philanthropy to me is an action, idea or event to benefit humanity that usually involves some type of sacrifice as opposed to being done with a profit motive.
2. What inspired you to make a difference?
This one is pretty simple to me. I love helping people, I love making a difference, I love showing that there’s way more good than evil in this World. It’s just that you never really hear about the good anymore…
3. Do you feel a personal responsibility to help others?
Helping others is part of my life; I make a conscious effort to make at least one positive impact on another’s life daily. This question is interesting because you should never feel forced to do something, it should happen naturally. We as human beings do have some type of personal responsibility to look out for each other. We’re all in this together and sometimes we need to put our needs aside for a second to help those around us.
4. What is the source of your passion?
A majority of my passion comes from one of the most beautiful things in the world, the Atlantic Ocean. Growing up in one of the greatest surfing communities (in my opinion) has helped mold me into the human being I am today. A lot of my drive and passion comes from the selflessness of the community that surrounds me. The selflessness of those around me will continue to fuel my passion and willingness to help anyone I come into contact with.
5. What impact would you like to make in the community?
The obvious answer is positive, but I’d like to take it one step forward. I’d love to see a “pay it forward” attitude everywhere I go. I’ll randomly buy a $10 gift card and leave it at the register with the cashier to purchase the next 10 coffees that come through in hopes to create a ripple effect of good deeds going forward.
6. How long have you been doing this?
If “this” is referring to the last question, about a year now. If “this” is relating to philanthropy it goes way back to middle school when I was volunteering at nursing homes.
7. Is there/what is the ripple effect?
Absolutely! Lets pretend wind equals philanthropists, water equals the community, and surface tension equals roadblocks. Every effort will not result in the outcome we hope, but if we blow hard enough for long enough we will see positive impacts. Ripples are the instant effect of wind on water that can die down as quickly as they form, as the surface tension of the water dampens their efforts. If a wind blows steadily across a large enough patch of water for a few hours the ripples then become waves and don’t dampen so easily.
8. What are your goals and values?
My goal is to make one significant difference in the World. If I happen to positively impact additional lives along the way, well…that works too! One value I live by each and every day is treating others how you wish to be treated.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” – Dalai Lama.
9. How do your goals and values reflect what you are doing to give back and make a difference?
We’re all on this World together; some more fortunate than others. We all breathe the same air; we all walk on the same dirt. My goals and values shape each and every day I wake up. I may never be able to donate $1,000,000 to an organization, but I will always be able to lend a helping hand, give a hug to someone in need, or put a smile on someone’s face. You’d be surprised how far a hug can extend and make a difference.
10. What exactly is your end goal and how do you plan on accomplishing this?
There is no end goal, there will never be an end goal as I hope things I do in my life live on forever. My daily goal is being able to put my head on my pillow every night with a smile knowing that I positively impacted someone or something that day.
11. If someone would like to contribute a donation or lend a hand in this process, how can they do so?
One organization (other than the Jetty Rock Foundation) that has really captured my heart is the Best Day Foundation. Best Day Foundation is a volunteer organization that helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe and fun adventure activities like surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more. Volunteering with this Foundation has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. There are six summer events held in NJ every summer. Check out www.bestdayfoundation.org for additional information or feel free to reach out to me at any time.
12. Are you involved in any community partnerships or collaborations?
For those who know me I tend to always find myself acting as a volunteer at any event around. Whether it be with Jetty Rock Foundation, Best Day Foundation, ALO, Ann Coen Photography, David’s Dream & Believe, TD Bank, the list goes on. Pretty much anything that rock stars like Dani Corso, Jeremy DeFilippis and Joe Mangino are involved in.
13. How do your collaborations coincide with your end goal?
They help pave the path to a common goal. You can’t lay every brick down by yourself.
14. Why do you believe what you’re doing is unique, in comparison to anyone else?
I don’t think I’m doing anything unique or different in comparison to anyone else. I’m doing what makes me happy. Who would want to do something that doesn’t’ make them happy?
15. Do you have any advice for those who want to get involved?
Just do it! We’re all super connected with Social Media, Cell Phones, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask someone about an event, or if you’ll look “cool” doing it. Part of living is stepping out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised how doing so will positively impact you and the community surrounding you.
16. How do you encourage volunteerism?
Many organizations encourage employees to volunteer and quite often reward it! TD Bank has continuously provided donations on my behalf to organizations that I volunteer with. Reach out to your Human Resource department and see what types of events they sponsor, or if they can share a local even that you will be volunteering with. The only way to encourage volunteerism is by being a volunteer.
17. How do you think we can motivate our youth to get involved?
Create an augmented reality app for their smart phone? All kidding aside, it has become increasingly difficult to motivate our youth to get involved. I have seen some of the most respectful and awesome youth volunteering for things they love, and I’ve seen some of the most disrespectful youth volunteering for things they don’t love. We need to help determine what it is they love and that volunteering isn’t a chore, it is something you should want to do because of the way it makes you feel.
18. What would you like to pass on to future generations?
Be creative in your jobs, be willing to step outside of your comfort zones, don’t be afraid to speak up (professionally), create business relationships, obtain mentors, provide insight and create ideas. Don’t become “Just a Number.”
19. What inspires you to keep paying it forward?
Karma and the warm fuzzy feeling I get inside!
20. Is there a specific uplifting quote that best exemplifies what you stand for?
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama