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Mike Root

How We Can Make Our World A Better Place

December 13, 2012

As my business travel for the year begins to slow down for the Christmas season, it now becomes time to reflect on what happened in 2012 and what I will look forward to accomplishing in 2013. But before I do that I want to reflect on all the blessings that I have being in this great industry, working with people I really enjoy working with both as suppliers and customers.

The furniture industry is small in comparison to many others. But it is large when you consider the impact on people's daily lives. We supply furnishings to turn an empty house into a home - a place where people will create awesome memories during the upcoming holidays and beyond. Many times our industry is called upon when there is transition such as a new house, a remodel, a new job or a new marital situation either good or bad. But our product is there to support the needs and wishes of the needs of everyday consumers. And I am grateful to be part of that distribution channel.

Last week in Minnesota, I was reminded about just how lucky I am to be gainfully employed in a career I enjoy. I attended a Slumberland event called Home for the Holidays. Several organizations in the greater Twin Cities metro identify individuals who are so poor, who are overlooked by government safety nets, and who have virtually nothing. You cannot possibly imagine the stories of hardship in our great wealthy country.

With donations all year long from employees, business partners and vendors, Slumberland and associates then donate new mattress sets to as many needy individuals as possible in time for Christmas. The stories the charities told about the impact this has on the people served was heart wrenching. This money is all raised in a foundation the Larson family set up called 40 Winks ( What is unique about this foundation is that the Larson family pays every cent of the administration costs so all donations go directly to the people who need the help.

Many retailers have causes they believe in to help the community. And each and every one of us has charities we support. I wrote a letter to my kids and posted it at discussing a gifting strategy they could consider. But whatever your ideas of charity are, this is a time of year to reflect on your blessings and remember there are way too many stories of tragedy, poverty, and real need even in this country of abundance. We can make a difference in people's lives.

I know for many in our industry this is a hectic time. But if you have the means, think about setting up a donation structure that works for you. Don't overlook giving back to those in need. The Universe will reward your efforts. We can't change the world, but hopefully we can change a life, or at least make it a little easier. Happy holidays.