MCD Partners

Memphis Daily News
Finding Your Giving Hour
September 14, 2017
By Dr. Mary C. McDonald

What is an hour of your time worth? It’s not difficult to calculate the monetary equivalent of 60 minutes of doing your job. To use your skills, talent, training and wisdom has a price that brings value to your work. And what would that hour with you be worth if you gave it away? For someone in need, that hour with you could be priceless.

There are hundreds of worthy causes in our community, thousands of people in need of help, and even more with the ability to help them. So how do you make the connections? You want to make a difference, to give back to the community. How will you know if what you have to offer is needed? Where can you find information about the groups or people in need? Where do you even start? You could start with the Giving Hour.

The Giving Hour was started by Austin Baker to give back for the time that was given to him by those mentors in his life. Baker, president of HRO Partners, an industry leader in human resource strategies, used the HRO model of solving complex problems with simple yet strategic solutions to develop a network of community connectivity to facilitate doing social good.

The same goals of HRO Partners, to help companies develop and implement people strategies that drive performance and profits, were used to provide a foundation of empowering and connecting the community in a new and powerful way.

“The goal of The Giving Hour is to create 10,000 new mentors within Memphis,” said Baker, “and establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with various corporations and organizations are key to the sustainability and impact of this network.”

The Giving Hour infuses innovation and creativity into addressing the challenges currently facing our community by connecting mentors, either individually or through their employers, places of worship, favorite nonprofit, or other community membership organizations, with those in need of a mentor. The Giving Hour is a conduit for service to others. It is a community connectivity engine designed to engage, inspire and better connect the outstanding and talented individuals in our community with the many mentorship opportunities available.

“If you have a strong desire to mentor others and create change within our community,” said Arsen Petrosyan, an employee of HRO who works with the Giving Hour, “this is a way to better connect talent with need through existing organizations.”

There is no fee for this turnkey solution for setting up a company’s community service opportunities. The information is managed online and accountability reports are provided.

“It is HRO’s way to give back by using our skills and knowledge to manage this,” added Baker. “It is not another program, but a connection platform.”
How will an hour of your time impact the life of another? What do you know, or do, that will change the quality of another’s life if you shared it? To match your skills with requests made for assistance in specific areas, check out

Contact Dr. Mary C. McDonald, a national education consultant, at 574-2956 or visit

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