When we think about giving, we think about people and organizations going all out and making big splashes around the world. Yet, many in the insurance world, do their giving quietly and in their neighborhood. That’s the case with one professional in particular. David Thompson, insurance educator with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA), focuses on giving back to his neighborhood.
As a second-generation Army officer, Thompson is no stranger to sacrifice and helping others. Yet, it was his early involvement with his local ambulance company and a life-long connection with the fire department that has colored his giving at this stage of his life. He learned early about the bonds that form in people who serve in stressful and dangerous situations and he’s never really lost that bond.
As an insurance educator, travelling around the state of Florida (and the United States), he began to enjoy the different barbecue traditions around the country. Eventually, he invested in his own equipment and started smoking meats at his home. A hobby that most people use to prepare dinners for their families, he has turned into a way to give back to the people that have been there in his life.
On a recent Saturday, he fired up his smoker and smoked 124 pounds of meats. To put that in perspective, a family of four might smoke four to six pounds of chicken breasts or a five-pound Boston butt (pork shoulder) for a dinner. He smoked 25 times that. Where a family might smoke one or two meats in a session, he had five types of meat (Boston butt, pork tenderloin, chicken wings, chicken breasts, and salmon) on the smoker that day.
What did he do with it? He kept enough for lunch and dinner, but he packaged up the rest to give away.
With his affinity for firefighters, he tries to call his local fire station (only two miles down the road) and tells them to come by hungry around lunch time. A crew of firefighters can eat, but that day there were only three of them, so the rest had to go somewhere.
The list of lucky barbecue recipients includes:
- His friend that cuts his grass when Thompson is traveling.
- Some neighbors who helped him out when Hurricane Michael came through.
- Other neighbors and friends that have helped him out when he has needed it.
- Sometimes, he even invites insurance people over for smoked meats and a few laughs.
The most important thing in his mind is that we all should be giving to other people. He has friends who bake. His mother still makes up snack mix bags to give to family friends and other people every week. The key is to find those gifts and talents that you have and use them to be a blessing to others.
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