When it comes to arguments within this group, I prefer to mind my own business. I only chime in when I feel it is necessary, but there was a topic of conversation this week that really struck a chord with me. I am so sick of the Dallas society talk.
Why are we concerned about such a small group of people and what they think? How does having money make someone more important than another person? My heart broke when I heard D’Andra express to Cary that she hoped her friends would stay her friends through this financial shift. I don't pick my friends based on how many commas they have in their bank account. I pick my friends based on whether or not I think they have qualities that I respect and that they will respect me, as well. Basically, are they a good, fun person? Being a part of a group that judges based solely on materialism and financial status is something I have never wanted to be a part of. I grew up in a low to middle-income family where my parents worked very hard to keep food on our table. We didn’t grow up with a silver spoon, ours were plastic. I don't take anything that we have now or then for granted because I know what it’s like to eat 'Hamburger Helper' for dinner…sometimes without the hamburger…it was just ‘Helper’.
I am so much more proud to say that Travis and I have what we have because we (behind every successful man is a woman. I am taking credit for this too!) worked hard for it. We give as generously as we spend, and it feels so much more special when we give knowing that we worked for it. I am so proud of D’Andra for taking the reins and making the scary jump to become financially independent. There were many years when Travis and I had to live on a very tight budget because everything we had, went to the company and growing for our future, so I get it. As her friends, we should not shame her for her courage to do this on her own. We should uplift and empower her to navigate through this tough journey. It takes courage, and if anyone has the courage and can do this, it is D’Andra Simmons! At the end of the day, finances are very personal and should not be shared among a group of friends. If anyone has a question about my finances they can come talk to me about it…and I will politely tell them it is absolutely none of their business. And just for the record, I love my plastic spoon!
Travis and I are very passionate about giving back. Every year through our charitable giving initiative, we give hundreds of thousands of dollars to many different organizations in our community. After what we went through last year with Cruz, we really wanted to take a look at how we could restructure our giving to better serve our employees. We were very fortunate to be able to afford to put Cruz in a new school that better suits his learning differences last year. It sparked a conversation at Hollman about how we could possibly help families at Hollman that aren’t able to afford the same education. Between Travis going to Harvard and, Cruz thriving, and his new school, re-investing in our employees’ education was something that was heavy on our hearts. We rallied the Hollman Inc. Team and decided to partner with a local community college to help with the education of our employees, their spouses, and their children. We currently have 67 employees, spouses or dependents enrolled in the school that is 100% paid for directly by Hollman, Inc. As a mom, I think there is no greater gift that someone can give than the gift of education. Knowledge is the key that can unlock the door to success. Through this program, we hope to set our employees and their families up for success to make their dreams come true.