Skin in the Game

I’ve been a Chiefs fan for as long as I can remember. So many great memories and so, SO, many crushing, rip-your-heart-out-of-your-chest-and-show-it-to-you-while-its-still-beating disappointments. But that’s a blog for another time.

2010 KJO Crew with Ronald McDonald and Trent Green

Needless to say, when we had an opportunity to produce a video featuring Trent Green in KJO’s early days, I jumped at it. I knew everything about Trent’s career, but very little about the actual subject of the video: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City.

All that changed when I saw firsthand the work RMHCKC does and met the families they help. As a new father at the time, hearing the hardships they endured was my worst nightmare. But it was comforting to know they weren’t on this awful journey alone, RMHCKC had their back and held their hand the entire way.

That was twelve years ago. Since then, we’ve become RMHCKC’s exclusive video partner, producing dozens of videos for a variety of purposes on a pro bono basis. It’s strange in a way, the partnership isn’t a moneymaker for KJO, but everyone on our team goes above and beyond in the work we do for them. Whether it’s spending hours brainstorming creative concepts or getting called to the Children’s Mercy at 4 a.m. to document an infant’s heart transplant, there’s never a thought of “mailing it in” because the gig’s not as profitable as our other work.

Our sponsored room at the newest Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City

The relationship with RMHCKC opened my eyes to the overwhelming upside of working with non-profits. It’s not just the warm and fuzzy feeling we get knowing it’s for a good cause. It’s led to opportunities and connections we never would have gotten otherwise. It’s introduced some of KC’s most influential business leaders to our work, people who never would have heard of us if not for our involvement in a charity near and dear to their heart.

RMHCKC was just the beginning of our relationship with non-profits. Since then, we’ve worked with JDRF, MDA, the American Heart Association, United Way of Wyandotte County, Boys & Girls Club of Topeka, the Plaza Academy, and Friends of JCDS just to name a few. And it’s not just making videos. We’ve been involved in every level of non-profit marketing. From creative direction to photography to website development, if we can help, we’re all in.

It’s all led me to realize that a business only truly becomes a part of the community when you have skin in the game. When you take ownership of your community, it becomes your duty to put your skills and talents toward making it a better place and helping its most vulnerable members.

Production for American Heart Association

Nonprofits give our community strength. The organizations we mentioned and dozens of others are filled with people who have made a career out of helping their fellow Kansas Citians in a variety of ways. They help meet needs that our government can’t or won’t. They show that solutions to difficult problems do exist.

It’s damn inspiring! Makes you realize that positive change is not only possible, it’s happening. It makes you want to be a better person… a better business. It gives us strength and hope for a better tomorrow for Kansas City.

I wish I could say the same about the Chiefs.