A different kind of ROI.
Most people think of monetary values when we speak about Return On Investment. In this case money had little to do with a huge ROI.
About 20 years ago I purchased a nice new 15 foot Coleman Outfitter canoe for the family. It weighted about a million pounds and held myself, my wife, young daughter and son perfectly. We had a number of good times with that old canoe but as with most things in life, times changed. The children grew up, life got more complicated and my wife lost her comfort level with the canoe as time passed.
Eventually I found I had a 15 foot beast all to myself, great if I wanted to haul a couple 100 pounds of supplies with me, not so great for a quick, easy day of paddling. Time for a change and I bought a nice light (Kevlar) 12 1/2 foot kayak; but what to do with the canoe? I could have spent the effort to sell it online for a few dollars but instead decided to donate it to a local canoe club.
The club helps children get out of the city and into the water so they can enjoy nature, something I feel is a good cause. After I had donated it, I saw the canoe a couple of times while kayaking and it always seemed to have laughter around it.
That was several years ago and since that time I haven't thought too much about that old canoe, until I was out for a bike ride and decided to try a different route than normal, a route that would take me by one of the other beaches in the area. As I road up to the beach, out of the corner of my eye, there she was.. my old canoe!
I stopped and took a picture to send to my wife, to reflect on the good times the family shared in that canoe and to listen to the children playing nearby, children who belong to the canoe club.
The return I received on the investment of that one selfless act was huge on a personal level, and even greater on what that act gave to the community. Selfless acts may not generate a lot of monetary reward, but money isn't everything.