People sometimes associate Wall Street with slick, corporate greed. But this holiday season, I visited ICAP, a financial firm with a charitable program that stood out to me as an especially innovative one. I was there because the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, the group I helped establish after losing my husband to colon cancer, is one of their beneficiaries this year.
On "Charity Day" — this year, it was Dec. 7 — all of ICAP's offices and staff forget about the bottom line and their business. Each person donates their revenues and commissions to charity. It turns into a big party, and it's so nice to see all these people having fun and doing good.
Each office selects groups in their own region to benefit so they feel especially committed to the charity they are helping. And ICAP isn't alone. Other companies that have some connection to ICAP also join in. For example, Bloomberg and Reuters forego the payment the usually receive from ICAP for use of their equipment, and those funds also go to the charities.
This year, on just this one day alone, ICAP raised $14 million. This is so important because the money goes a long way toward helping non-profits who depend so heavily on the private sector for funding. Many of these non-profits couldn't do the work they do, and that work is so needed. Some of the beneficiaries of "Charity Day," for example, are the Boys & Girls Clubs, Columbia University's Center for Celiac Research, and Building Homes for Heroes, a group that helps our severely wounded and disabled veterans and their families rebuild their lives.
In addition to ICAP, there are companies and firms all over the country helping to sustain our non-profit community. It's heartwarming to know what a difference they make, and I think it's important to take some time out from our hectic schedules to recognize them, especially during the holidays.
Happy holidays, everyone. Couric & Co. will be back Jan. 2. Have a wonderful New Year.
See you in 2007!