Monday, March 14, 2011

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 03/14/2011

What is a philanthropist? And, what makes one philanthropic? Simply put a philanthropist is someone with a desire to help who has something to give and does give to someone who doesn’t have it and needs it. Money is usually the “does and doesn’t have” in this equation.

But, what makes a person philanthropic doesn’t seem to have a simple answer. I used to think people were born with a philanthropic gene, but now I am thinking that isn’t always the case. I thought people learned “giving behavior” by growing up in families that were philanthropic because they had a great deal to give. Or, maybe it is possible that some people just listened and learned from sermons and religious offerings about generosity and giving…all possibilities, but I still think there is something more operating now.

The teaching of “philanthropy” has moved into the family next door, the elementary classroom, the scout troop. Here are a few examples.

Recently Scout troop No. 1738 showed up at Liberty Wildlife on a Saturday to sell cookies. As one would imagine this active Saturday volunteer group with lots of comings and goings, bought up a bunch of cookies in support of the Girl Scouts, another group benefiting from philanthropy. What the Liberty crew didn’t know was this. The Girl Scouts now let each troop keep a portion of their sales for the benefit of that troop. But, Scout troop No. 1738 had other ideas. They turned around and donated their profits to Liberty Wildlife to help support our mission. And they had a top seller of cookies in their midst.

In return, Jessica, a star Saturday volunteer, agreed to provide a tour for the troop. Rising from her sick bed (no longer contagious!) she drove across town to be the tour leader for this wonderful group of young girls. The girls loved the tour and the choice they made to support our organization. And, as a little more testament to what a great group of girls they are…they sent us a thank you note for the tour….I have hope!

Another young girl worked in our orphan care area in the summer while her family was here from California. They were wonderful to have as volunteers, and we enjoyed every minute of their time with us. When she went back to California she set up a lemonade stand with literature about Liberty Wildlife and the importance of helping wildlife no matter where you live! She then sent the profits of her endeavors to us with an adorable card and photos of the lemonade stand…I have hope!

And there is the example of a young boy who told his mother and his friends that at his birthday party he wanted no presents but rather wanted money donated to Liberty Wildlife. He and his mom brought his donations from the party and dropped them off….I have hope!

I am not sure if this is just a bunch of old souls who have come into our lives at this time or what, but whatever the reason is….in days of disaster and bad news… these are the things that carry me forward into a time of great hope. Thanks to all of you!

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