Remember the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials?
They’re etched in my memory from years of repetitive viewing be-tween Saturday morning episodes of “Scooby Doo” and “Speed Racer.”
You remember the stitch: A man and woman collide while walking past one another. Each is young, attractive and – amazingly – carrying a jar of peanut butter or bar of chocolate.
Now it’s coming back to you. The chocolate lands in the peanut butter, and the man and woman greet one another gushingly. They smile as they taste the delightful accident that would become the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
“Uuuhhhmmm,” they say in unison. “Two great tastes that taste great together.”
Where would we be if the man and woman with peanut butter and chocolate hadn’t collided? If Reese’s hadn’t taken a chance and created a new combination?
I think more unlikely combinations would make our world a better place.
I spend a day each month counseling a Girl Scouts of the USA council and Boy Scouts of America council in suburban Chicago. They’re conducting a joint capital campaign to build a shared service center, the first such facility in the United States.
Some traditionalists brush the groundbreaking initiative aside. They say it won’t work, pointing out that one organization is for boys and the other for girls. They claim their methods are as different as the people they serve.
I say hogwash.
Who can argue with sharing heating and snow removal costs? How many parents of both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts – I’m one of them – would thumb their noses at one-stop shopping? Why can’t Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts work together?
With more than $1 million committed to the $4 million campaign, all signs say they can. And beyond the cash gifts, the campaign is the proud recipient of a $600,000 gift of land. The local physician who donated it only did so after the organizations announced they were partnering.
There are examples of powerful partnerships dedicated to improving lives all around us in Eastern Jackson County:
The list goes on and on, but the point is clear: Unlikely combinations make sense. They optimize resources and break down barriers.
Next time you bite into a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, remember its humble beginnings. Then let your sugar high inspire a new unlikely combination.
Matt Beem is president of Hartsook Companies, an international fundraising consulting firm. He lives in Independence.