Idea + Passion = Impact

Read below for an interview between Bobby Olejarczyk and Greg Rockwell, Thrive DC’s Director of Development, about what can happen when you let your passion for a cause drive you to action. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Greg: So you just did something really cool. How about telling us who you are and what you just did?

Bobby: Of course! My name is Bobby Olejarczyk, I’m a current third year at Bentley University, right outside of Boston, studying public policy and business studies. But right now I’m in Washington, DC as an intern for the US Department of Education.

This past weekend I ran the virtual 125th Boston Marathon, right through the streets of DC. And in doing that, I raised over a thousand dollars for Thrive DC, an organization that I very much have come to support and find very much in tied to my values and passions.

Greg: That’s so cool. Thank you so much.! That’s an amazing amount raised for our clients. Why Thrive?

Bobby: Yeah. So in coming to DC, I saw that while it’s big problem everywhere, homelessness is chronic here, and very, very much a part of the culture here that has given me so much. But because I don’t always have that dollar or that meal that I can give folks, I wanted to do something a little bit more.

I saw Thrive DC as a great way to do that because your organization focuses very much on vulnerable populations, ones that have been disadvantaged from their lived experiences, such as formerly incarcerated folks, or women, or other marginalized communities. That Thrive understands these groups and is actively working to help them and support them from a lens of equity was a mission that I very much agreed with and wanted to support, as I just see the problems and the systemic problems that exist and  want to try to remedy those to whatever extent I as a 20 year old, can.

Greg: Awesome. Thank you so much! There’s going to be people who listen to this who are also really passionate about the causes that they believe in and are really intimidated to do something, or don’t know how to do something. As someone who just ran a race and raised a thousand dollars in a week, what advice do you have for people?

Bobby: For sure. I’d just say let ambition and drive you, and don’t be fearful of failure because of course that’s when you win best.

But over this past summer, I started small and raised $500 for UNICEF. And then from there, I’ve been able to grow that to a thousand dollars. And I’m just building this track record of say, effective fundraising. And so you’re just learn over time about what engages folks, what makes people want to really give to a cause that you are fundraising money for.

And I always find that it’s good to explain why are you passionate about this certain cause and giving back to this certain cause. And from there, people resonate with that. And no matter who it is, whether it’s a friend, a coworker, a partner, whoever it is, they can resonate with it as well. And if they do, they are most likely willing to give whatever it is.

And I also found with this, be accepting to anything whether it’s $1, $5, $10, whatever it may be, the collective effort will bring you to where you want to be. I am confident about it.