Why We Give Back: For The Common Good

Why We Give Back

author: Joe Rogge

Written by: Joe Rogge

Chief Creative Officer


  • Culture

“It’s for the Common Good.”

Growing up, going with my Dad to Saint Ben’s on 9th and State or the Milwaukee Rescue Mission on North 19th street to donate and or help serve food to those in need was a weekly event. One insanely cold, windy night, I couldn’t feel my face, fingers, or toes and whined to my pops, “Do we really have to do this tonight?!” Without pause, my old man replied, “Boy, most of these folks are going to have to sleep outside tonight. If you had to do that, don’t ya think a plate of hot food would help get you through?”

Pop was the first to stop and help a guy with a broken down car, run to a neighbor’s house in the middle of the night to fix a busted furnace, and never, ever thought twice to reach deep into his pocket for a couple of bucks for the old man holding a sign at a north side stop light. And every time he would say “It’s for the common good.”

My dad taught me well.

The common good helps everyone

If you think about it, the common good has touched us in the most unexpected ways. We’ve all had troubled waters to traverse and, in most instances, we had a helping hand along the way. The dude that stopped to shine a light when you were changing that tire on the side of the road. Or that friend whose couch, a beer, and a bowl of ramen was always there when you needed it. Or the time when there was a fire, and an army of people showed up with clothes, food, and a warm place to stay while you figured out what your next move was going to be.

Merriam-Webster defines the common good as: in order to help or benefit everyone. Which is to say that we all rely on community, whether we realize it or not. And when an individual triumphs over challenges, the community at large succeeds.

To that end, success is a result of effective non-profit institutions that rely on contributions from the community in which they operate. And that is why EPIC Creative gets involved. We know firsthand that the support they are given drives their work and their respective missions. And If we want a successful community, then we must give back and get involved to help ensure their work makes an impact.

Giving back strengthens our culture

Throughout my career, I have sought out organizations that believed in the common good, and am grateful to have spent the last 22 years here at EPIC Creative, where the common good is part of our cultural philosophy. We give back because doing so helps build positivity in our organization and in our community. We give back because it helps our community be a better place to live. We give back because we all want to do good and help others to find opportunities to achieve.

A contemporary definition of Aristotle’s common good philosophy refers to “a good, proper to—and attainable only by—the community, yet individually shared in by its members.” Attainable. Community. Shared. These are basic tenets that define us and compel us to stay involved and contribute.

In my college years, I read everything I could about “enlightenment.” I yearned for inspiration, inner peace, and wisdom. And while that journey continues, one quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s dialogues “I Am That” always stuck with me: “When you desire the common good, the whole world desires with you. Make humanity’s desire your own and work for it. There you cannot fail.”

Today, I am grateful to work with those who desire the common good, because we desire it with you and your selfless efforts to do good things make us all better people, businesses, and communities:

Volunteer Center of Washington County
United Performing Arts Fund
Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial
Boys + Girls Club
Enchantment In The Park
City of West Bend Downtown Riverwalk
Islands of Brilliance
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Wisconsin
Art & Chalk Fest
Museum of Wisconsin Art
Albrecht Free Clinic
Kathy’s House
Family Promise
The Sofie Show
The Bend
Forest Home Cemetery
Arts @ Large
Washington County Humane Society

We will continue to volunteer, donate and provide services and support in our communities because it makes a difference and, like my old man says, “It’s for the common good.”

Work Hard and Be Nice to People


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