Continuing a legacy of respect, kindness, and compassion
As we approach Giving Tuesday keep in mind that dedication to philanthropic causes is far more valuable during the holidays
Charity tends to be a short-term, emotional, and immediate response, focused primarily on rescue and belief, whereas philanthropy is much more long term, more strategic, focused on rebuilding.”
— Steve Gunderson
CARBONDALE, CO, UNITED STATES, November 28, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — As we approach Giving Tuesday (following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, & Cyber Monday) remember that dedication to a philanthropic cause is far more valuable during the holidays.
Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror – but the holiday season is upon us. There are many differences this year that previously making the need for supporting non profits more important than ever. New leadership in Washington – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris – will surely inspire our nation to come together and work on the problems facing our society.
Sickness, limited access to healthcare, societal stigmas, and other unfortunate situations make the holidays a cheerless time for so many around the world – especially in 2020.
Turkey, stuffing, and an overload of sweet potatoes – that’s what a lot of us think of when Thanksgiving comes to mind. Thoughts of a warm home filled with family and friends, a break from work or school, and a chance to reconnect with our loved ones. There is nothing much more satisfying or comforting than the thought of a delicious meal with your favorite people.
As I start to think about this upcoming Holiday season, I have a pang of sadness in my heart as I consider those who won’t have this experience that many of us hold so dear. Sickness, limited access to healthcare, societal stigmas, and other unfortunate situations make the holidays a cheerless time for so many around the world.
I try to be ever mindful that not everyone in the world has the fortunate holiday experiences that so many of us have come to enjoy. Many women are fighting for their equality, patients are suffering from unanswered medical conditions, and certainly not everyone’s table is overflowing with cranberry sauce.
At the Mel and Bren Simon Foundation we work hard to contribute to organizations that benefit those who are less fortunate year round, not just during the holiday season. We want to make people’s lives better and help them achieve more 365 days a year. Philanthropic activity is not just a seasonal item to mark off your check list, it should be an ongoing pursuit spurred by a sympathetic heart for your fellow man, woman, and child.
Let’s take this Thanksgiving to remember those less fortunate and prioritize our philanthropic efforts for the coming year. Dedication to a philanthropic cause that holds special meaning to you is far more valuable than any holiday gift or plate full of desserts.
Think of the Big Picture When Being Generous, Sharing, & Giving
When talking about making a donation, either of time, money or items (like clothing or food,) we often use the words charity and philanthropy interchangeably. We may say “Susan performed such an act of charity when she gave 10 winter coats to her local shelter” or one may describe a friend as having a “philanthropic nature”. While both words so refer to the act of giving, there are some important distinctions to be made between the two.
Charity has been described as something we, as Americans, experience regularly in our culture. Early on in elementary school, we are taught to be generous and to share. In religious and moral settings we are taught to think of our neighbor in their times of need. From change jars at registers with causes written on the front to food drives during the holiday season, we are called to be charitable to our neighbor down the street, to even our global neighbors, on a regular basis.
By that definition, acts of charity all sound great – what could philanthropy possibly have on charity?
Steve Gunderson, former President and CEO of the Council on Foundations described the nuanced difference between charity and philanthropy as this:
“Charity tends to be a short-term, emotional, and immediate response, focused primarily on rescue and belief, whereas philanthropy is much more long term, more strategic, focused on rebuilding. One of my colleagues says there is charity, which is good, and then there is problem-solving charity, which is called philanthropy, and I think that’s the distinction I have tried to make.”
Philanthropy, then, is the preferred method because it not only seeks to help, but intentionally searches for the root of the problem and looks for solutions. It is great to offer food, shelter, and clothing to someone without a home. But how much better would it be to provide solutions to the problems such as hosting a job fair or funding an abuse clinic. Don’t get me wrong: charity, meeting the immediate human needs of your fellow human, is good and necessary in our world today. However, it’s important to keep in mind the words of someone best known for philanthropic actions, John Rockefeller:
“The best philanthropy is constantly in search of the finalities – a search for a cause, an attempt to cure evils at their source.”
So, as you go through your week, add the dollar to the disaster relief jar. Volunteer at your local food bank. Offer to take your elderly neighbor to the store. But allow your mind to start thinking in terms of the big picture – begin to think philanthropically and watch your community – and your world – begin to change.
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Bren Simon: Continuing a legacy of respect, kindness, and compassion
Source: EIN Presswire