Consider meanings of National Philanthropy Day

Kristine Bugayong

This is a little story about a professor and his lecture on philanthropy.

But why should a distinguished professor give a lecture about his sabbatical travels in Europe announcing that the trip had placed him in debt? Did he plan to take a collection?

Shortly into the address, his meaning became clear. Instead of talking about the sights and expenses of his trip, he told of the kindness people offered along the way and his sense of indebtedness.

When he was lost in Paris, a young man took time to personally lead him to his destination. In a village, an elderly couple invited him to their home for dinner. He told about the patience and helpfulness of a store clerk, a waitress, and so on—one kind deed after another. He said he returned home with an overflowing sense of gratitude and a desire to pay his debt by expressing kindness to others—especially strangers.

The professor continued. He spoke of the journey of life and the debt we all owe to our parents and loved ones, to our teachers, to friends, organizations, and even strangers that may have a positive influence in our life. “In fact”, he said, “we are all terribly in debt. Our only reasonable response is to invest in individuals and organizations that need our help.”

One of the reasons we give back to charities is to express gratitude and appreciation for benefits received from elsewhere, to “pay it forward.”

We give to say “thank you” for the kindness that have come our way. We know that our gifts to charities are needed and appreciated.

Central Alberta is a very giving community. From the countless hours that we share with the causes we believe in, to donating our hard earned money and demonstrating community engagement, Central Albertans embody what giving is all about.

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation is a clear example. What started as a gesture of generosity from one individual is now a community institution. The Community Foundation has three distinct roles in the community. It is a steward of people’s charitable gifts – serving as a vehicle for grateful citizens to demonstrate their vision beyond a lifetime. It is a locally based grant maker – providing much needed resources to ALL sectors, from arts and culture, the environment, health and wellness and learning to social justice issues by providing much needed support to charitable organizations in Central Alberta.

It is also front and center in community leadership – making sure that issues and concerns of area residents are put forward and addressed.

National Philanthropy Day is Nov. 15th. It’s celebrated annually around the world in recognition of the impact of philanthropy on our global community and our community’s quality of life.

This day is a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of giving and what the community has achieved because of this. As Central Albertans and Canadians, we have a strong culture of giving and engagement. We truly care for our community and we make sure that we show it! The Community Foundation invites Central Alberta to celebrate this day dedicated to honor valuable contributions in building community.

As your Community Foundation, we understand the value of giving and the desire to give or to give back—every gift, regardless of size is important to us.

We invite you to call our office or stop by; we are ready to talk with you not only about your reasons for making a gift, but about various methods of giving. As a skilled gift planner, we are able to provide tax-wise gift illustrations and other helpful information. Chatting with us entails no cost or obligation whatsoever and may be well worth your time.

For more information, visit www.reddeeranddistrictcommunityfoundation.ca.

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