Spotlight: Robert Eidson Looks to the Man in the Mirror for Volunteering
An old proverb states “Charity starts at home.” That saying really spoke to one member of the CoolSys family and has made a lasting impact on his life and the lives of many others.
Robert Eidson is the vice president of CoolSys Energy Solutions. Early in his career, he kept a hectic pace, deeply focused on his work and professional responsibilities. Traveling extensively across the United States, he often took notice of communities in need. Although the environments weren’t familiar to him, he couldn’t stop thinking about ways he could help.
Time for Reflection
Robert kept telling himself that he was “just one person,” questioning whether he alone could make an impact. This doubt kept him from becoming involved, until he came to a personal crossroads.
“After 20 years of nonstop work, I didn’t know where my job ended and where I began, so I decided to take some time off from my career to discover who I was,” Robert says. “I couldn’t get the lyrics of the song ‘Man in the Mirror’ out of my head:
If you want to make the world a better place
Just look in the mirror and
Make the change.”
Robert listened to the man he saw in the mirror. In 2011, he took a pause from work so he could “make the change.” Overwhelmed at first, he determined that the best way to make an impact was, indeed, by starting at home.
Two years into his work sabbatical, he had joined 11 different local volunteer boards and organizations, including his local school board, the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HOPE), the Humane Society and the arts council. His goal was to help, but he didn’t realize how much he’d also benefit personally.
“I learned about different cultures, organizing large events, leadership, motivation and other skills that translated back to the business world,” he says. “I also learned that my passion was around cleaning up waterways (creeks, rivers and lakes). But the ultimate lesson I learned was that one person could make a difference.”
A Lasting Impact
Rejoining the workforce in 2013, Robert made a vow to himself that he’s kept to this day. “I promised myself that I would not allow work to become all-encompassing in my life again,” Robert says. “Now I volunteer whenever possible, including taking vacation time to volunteer and/or organize volunteer events. It not only feels good to give back, but it allows me time to decompress.”
Robert urges his fellow employees to volunteer as well. “I encourage the entire CoolSys family to get involved in their local communities whenever they can, supporting activities they are passionate about,” Robert says. “It’s good for not just the community but for one’s own sense of wellbeing — and it’s a great example for others.”
To check out volunteer opportunities in your area, visit VolunteerMatch.