Richard Yep

Think of all the ways the word “give” is used. Give up, give it gas, give until it hurts, give in, give a hand, give more, give less, give to and so on. “Give” is a word that can be applied in so many ways to explain and describe issues and actions. Let me be very up front with how I am using the word in this particular column. I need you to consider a “give” to one of the counseling profession’s lasting legacies, the American Counseling Association Foundation.

For more than three decades, the ACA Foundation has assisted in advancing the work of professional counselors by helping to further their education, careers and research. The Foundation has also been instrumental in its work with those whom professional counselors serve, most recently through the Growing Happy and Confident Kids project, which provides books to elementary school counselors in the areas of self-esteem, anti-bullying, diversity, teasing, family situations and much more. This project has helped counselors in nearly 200 sites nationwide by providing them with books that better allow them to connect with kids.

You may also remember that the Foundation stepped up and initiated the Counselors Care Fund when Hurricane Katrina impacted you and your colleagues. Established to “help our own,” the fund did just that. Counselors from all over the country made donations to help their peers in the Gulf region whose practices and personal lives had been shattered by the natural disaster. The Foundation matched each dollar contributed until the fund grew to well over $50,000.

I also want to tell you about the ways the ACA Foundation has helped to promote the counseling profession to those who benefit from such services. For several years, the Foundation has sponsored “The Counseling Corner,” a syndicated weekly column running in more than 250 newspapers across the country as well as in a number of places outside the United States. The total circulation of these newspapers exceeds 3 million. These easy-to-read columns, written for laypersons, provide one more way for the public to better understand the key role that professional counselors play in today’s society.

The Foundation has also been “giving forward.” By that I mean it supports those who will come after us, namely by allocating resources and opportunities for counseling graduate students. Each year, the ACA Foundation provides graduate students with grants to attend the ACA Annual Conference and organizes forums in which grad students can meet with “luminaries” in the field.

Much has been done over the past 30 years, but the Foundation’s trustees have said that much more needs to be done. Let’s face it, the engine cannot run if people do not give (there’s that word again). I give to the ACA Foundation every year and will be doing so again this year. I would love to have you join me this month by making a gift of your own.

Your gift and mine, along with those of your colleagues, will help the Foundation continue the important work to which it is dedicated. If we all give, we will be part of a legacy of “givers,” of those who care and those whose compassion reaches well beyond our local communities.

Here is how you can give right now. Go to and click on “Donate Now” in the left-hand column. Or, if you prefer, call 800.347.6647 ext. 222 and tell the operator you want to make a donation to the ACA Foundation. It is that easy! Please join me and your colleagues in giving. And, remember, if you give by December 31, your donation will count as a charitable contribution for calendar year 2008.

I hope you will contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Please contact me via e-mail or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.