Celebrating the joy of giving on National Philanthropy Day

Central Alberta is a very giving community, officials say

Many people associate the word philanthropy with the wealthy, when in reality; the essence of the word is love. We give because we love. We give because we care. Philanthropy is the act of manifesting that love.

I was brought up knowing that it is very important to help, to give and to be of service to others. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines and in that part of the world; poverty and all forms of social injustice are palpable. It is in your face, you cannot escape it.

When I was 11 years old, we had an outreach exposure trip. We were brought to one of the slum areas close to our school. I was assigned to a family with both parents and three children living in a small shanty. It was close to the lunch hour and the mom told me that they did not have anything to eat. I asked her to take me to one of the small food stalls across the street. I had about 20 pesos that day so I decided that instead of buying lunch and an afternoon snack for myself, I would buy three cups of rice and some chicken broth to share with everyone.

That was all I could afford. The family was so appreciative of the gesture, the mom cried. We spent the rest of the day sharing stories, laughing and understanding each other’s way of life. I remember leaving their home with the feeling and knowing how fortunate I am to be able to eat three times a day, and sometimes even more.

I guess the reason I am sharing this story is to demonstrate that philanthropy is simply the gesture we do to express that we care by giving – of ourselves, of our time and our resources.

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.

Nov. 15th is National Philanthropy Day, 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.

Kristine Bugayong is the CEO of the Red Deer & District Community Foundation.

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