John McCauley, AIF
Head of Intermediary Retail Sales
John McCauley leads Victory Capital’s Sales and Distribution efforts in the Intermediary and Retirement channels. He has been with the firm for more than 18 years. John’s unique approach to philanthropy allowed him to create some important lessons at home.
“When I was eight years old, I started playing in a basketball league. I needed new shoes and my parents took me to a store to get a pair. This typically routine event has resonated with me my entire life.
I was looking for a pair of blue and white Nike high-tops. And I found them. But there was a problem. They were $7 over my parents’ budget. At the time, that was a big deal. But they made it work. They sacrificed something else so that I could get those sneakers.
For as young as I was, I realized what they had done. It made a huge impression on me. And it was the inspiration for a family project I started when my daughters were nine and 14.
It started during the winter holidays. My girls and I would donate seven pairs of blue and white sneakers to charity. The main goal was to get them involved in a fun way to teach them about the importance of giving.
So, they pick out the shoes. They bring them in when they are delivered. They inspect them to make sure the shoes are what we ordered. Then, they repackage them to go to the designated charity. My girls are completely involved. That’s the whole point.
They are at ages when projects like this make lifelong impressions.
The sneakers project has meaning for me personally, and I want my daughters to see that passion. But it’s not about the shoes. The most important lesson is why we do it. It’s about conveying to them the importance of giving back. And we talk about what that means.
Giving back can mean a financial donation. It can mean volunteering time with a charitable organization. It could be performing community service to help those not as fortunate as we are.
My goal is to encourage them to find something they are passionate about and explore it. Ideally, I want them to find activities, endeavors, and opportunities that they’re not just passionate about, but that can also serve other people in a positive manner. To me, that combination is perfect.
Another important aspect of the lesson is follow- through. That’s why we now do this every quarter. You need to stick to whatever it is you do to give back; from delivering sneakers, to volunteering, to making other charitable contributions. This is why our sneaker project has continued since that first holiday season.”
The impetus is my passion that goes back to buying those original sneakers with my parents as a child. It’s a way of honoring their sacrifice. Teaching my daughters that philanthropy matters is also a way of paying it forward.
A team from Victory Capital volunteered last August at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio to help Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that supports military families. We assembled art kits for children of active duty and veteran service members. The kits gave them supplies to be creative at home. It was awesome to bring those kids some joy.
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